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C 134/118


Official Journal of the European Communities

30. 4. 98

The Commission says that in general the Moroccan authorities inform it, within the deadline of 48 hours laid down in the fisheries agreement, about the boarding of vessels. How many incidents have the Moroccan authorities reported to the Commission within this deadline and in how many cases did they not respect the deadline? Finally, what results were achieved as regards the boarding of vessels at the meeting of the EU-Morocco joint committee referred to in the answer to the above-mentioned question?

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission (5 November 1997) Under international law, the Moroccan authorities have exclusive competence for policing in their waters. It is therefore not the Commission’s place to pronounce on the technical surveillance facilities installed on board vessels of a third country. Since the beginning of the agreement in 1995, 39 Community vessels have been boarded. Of these 39 boardings, 14 were not notified within 48 hours as provided for in the agreement. However, three of the 14 delays in notification were due to public holidays in Morocco, and the Moroccan authorities notified the boardings on the first working day following. For the rest, nine of the delayed notifications occurred during the first eight months of implementation of the agreement (between December 1995 and August 1996). Following the Commission’s intervention, therefore, there has been a noticeable improvement in the situation, since only two of the delays since August 1996 can be regarded as unjustified. This matter will be raised with the Moroccan authorities again at the next meeting of the Joint Committee provided for under the fisheries agreement. That meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the EC-Morocco working party, which last met in July 1997.

(98/C 134/155)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-3226/97 by Sirkka-Liisa Anttila (ELDR) to the Commission (9 October 1997)

Subject: The effect of intensified production in agriculture in Poland and Hungary, and its significance for the balance of the EU’s agricultural production ‘Agenda 2000’ is principally concerned with the EU’s eastward enlargement and with improving the competitiveness of its agricultural production on the world foodstuffs market. Eastward enlargement will bring into the EU Hungary and Poland, which have a very significant agricultural potential. Poland’s arable land area, if cultivated as intensively as in the Netherlands, would alone suffice to feed the entire population of the EU. The Commission’s explanations lack a more detailed analysis of how the new Member States’ agricultural products might behave on the world market after accession. Since the Commission has not proposed any kind of estimate of this, the central element needed to evaluate the effects of enlargement is missing. After the accession of Hungary and Poland, both knowhow and capital will be exported from Western Europe to the new Member States, and from that point on these countries’ production potential will be exploited much more efficiently, resulting in even greater quantities of foodstuffs on the EU’s common market. Since the EU is expected, on the basis of the production of the existing Member States, to be over-producing cereals, dairy produce and beef, by the beginning of the 21st century, this too makes it vitally important to clarify what effect the new Member States will have on this over-production situation. Are there plans to place quotas on the new Member States’ production, as was done when Sweden, Finland and Austria joined (milk quotas, sugar and starch quotas, and a maximum total area of arable land eligible for EU subsidies)?

30. 4. 98


Official Journal of the European Communities

C 134/119

If the application of such quotas is planned, to what level of production, at what point in time are they to be tied? How will it be possible to prevent negative effects resulting from the accession of major agricultural producers Hungary and Poland on the balance of the EU’s agricultural production? When will the Commission publish clarifications of the effects of increased efficiency on production in Hungary and Poland?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission (3 November 1997) In the Agenda 2000 (1) the Commission has presented proposals to deal with the future challenges of the Community in a comprehensive manner, including the future financial framework of the Union, the future enlargement and reforms of the structural policies and the common agricultural policy. New Member States will need to apply the agricultural ‘acquis’ in its entirety as it exists from the date of accession, including production quotas and other supply management measures where applied, with the exception of transitional measures to the extent they are considered necessary. Precise arrangements will depend on the outcome of the accession negotiations and the reform of the common agricultural policy(CAP). The proposed reforms of the CAP include a reduction in market price support, accompanied by direct payments and an integrated rural policy. The objective of these reforms is to improve the competitiveness of the European agricultural and agro-food industry on the internal and world markets and to ensure a balanced development between production and internal and external demand. The Commission has analysed the situation in the applicant countries on a continuous basis. Its findings were published in a series of ten country reports published in mid 1995 and in the agricultural strategy paper (2) submitted to the European Council in Madrid in December 1995. In April 1997 the Commission published a study on the long term prospects in the grain, milk and meat markets, which also included an updated assessment of the prospects in the applicant countries. The Commission is in the process of updating the ten country reports and continues to monitor developments.
(1) (2)

COM(97) 2000 final. CSE (95) 607.

(98/C 134/156)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-3229/97 by Jan Sonneveld (PPE) to the Commission (9 October 1997)

Subject: Problems involved in obtaining refunds on agricultural products which are not consumed in full in the first importing country As a result of the political disintegration of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union − both traditional commercial and marketing channels for European exporters of agricultural products − there has been a change in the granting of refunds. According to EU legislation, products which were imported into one constituent republic, processed there and passed on to an other constituent republic were eligible for a refund. In view of the situation today this is no longer possible, because these products are no longer registered as being used on the spot (in the importing country, regardless of constituent republic). As is the case with the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, these importing countries now use the EU customs form, which makes it explicit that the imported EU product is not consumed in full in the importing country but is exported, usually after processing. In the past the Commission adopted transitional arrangements in similar circumstances (e.g. the accession of new EU Member States), in order to enable businesses to review their commercial relations; this was in the interests of both the EU businesses and the processing firms importing products.

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