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C 76/72 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 3.


The Recommendation cited above provides for a transitional period for the Community programmes which
defined SMEs according to different criteria. At the end of this period, 31 December 1997 at the latest, all
Community programmes will, in principle, have to apply the definition of SMEs contained in the

As far as the involvement of these enterprises in the implementation of the fifth framework programme is
concerned, the objectives of Community action were defined in the Proposal for a Council Decision concerning
the fifth framework programme for research, technological development and demonstration activities
(1998-2002), adopted by the Commission on 30 April 1997 (2). These objectives are to stimulate the participation
of SMEs in the research programmes, to help them enhance their technological capabilities and to facilitate the
access of SMEs taking part in research programmes to instruments which finance innovation and support the
creation of innovative enterprises. These objectives will have to be achieved in the dual framework of the various
Community research actions and actions devoted specifically to innovation and SMEs.

(1) OJ L 107, 30.4.1996.

(2) OJ C 173, 7.6.1997.

(98/C 76/159) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2065/97

by Salvatore Tatarella (NI) to the Commission
(16 June 1997)

Subject: Request for renegotiation of the Interreg II agreement between Italy and Greece

− In the answer it gave on 9 June 1995 to Written Question E-1008/95 of 6 April 1995 (1), the Commission
undertook to ensure ‘that a proper balance (would be) struck between the various measures envisaged’ under
Interreg II.

− As a result of the bilateral negotiations between Italy (Apulia region) and Greece, any form of EAGGF
assistance has apparently been ruled out, entailing severe disadvantages for the agricultural sector and
flower-growing in particular.

− The cross-border cooperation project submitted by nursery enterprises from Bari and Lecce provinces aims
to satisfy every requirement laid down in the reform of the CAP, not least with a view to bringing domestic
and international agricultural commodity markets into a better balance, improving production, and boosting
the processing industry.

Does the Commission not therefore believe that:

1. the negotiations should be reconsidered in order to make for a fairer share-out of resources by accepting the
Italian requests to promote cooperation in the agricultural and in particular the floricultural sector;
2. it should refuse to endorse the negotiations unless further discussions are held along the lines specified

(1) OJ C 222, 28.8.1995, p. 30.

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission

(24 July 1997)

As mentioned in the Commission’s answer to the Honourable Member’s written question E-1008/95 (1), it is for
the Member States, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, to propose the priorities and measures to be
included in programmes.

In their latest proposal for the Interreg Greece/Italy programme, received by the Commission on 20 May 1997,
the national authorities concerned have decided not to include measures cofinanced by the European agricultural
guidance and guarantee fund (EAGGF). This latest proposal follows a series of discussions between those
11. 3. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 76/73

authorities and the Commission, including extensive discussions on potential EAGGF measures. The
Commission now wishes to proceed with approval of this seriously-delayed programme and does not intend to
question further the priorities proposed by the Member States.

(1) OJ C 222, 28.8.1995.

(98/C 76/160) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2078/97

by Mair Morgan (PSE) to the Commission
(19 June 1997)

Subject: Expert groups

As each DG appears to set different rules for providing information on expert and advisory groups, will the
Commission introduce guidelines to enable a coherent, open and transparent policy to be adopted in every DG?

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(4 September 1997)

The provision of information on expert and advisory groups referred to by the honourable Member is not a matter
for the Commission, being currently governed by the following inter-institutional agreements or undertakings
given by the Commission to Parliament:
− the Plumb-Delors agreement on informing Parliament of draft decisions regarding legislative acts referred,
for an opinion, to committees assisting the Commission in fulfilling its executive responsibilities;
− the Klepsch-Millan agreement, setting up a code of conduct for the Commission's implementation of
structural policy;
− the ‘modus vivendi’ concluded by Parliament, the Council and the Commission on measures implementing
acts adopted under the procedure set out in Article 189b of the EC Treaty;
− the undertaking given by the Commission to Parliament's Committee on Budgets in September 1996
regarding the transparency of work carried out by committees.

These agreements and undertakings apply to all Commission departments.

(98/C 76/161) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2085/97

by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) to the Commission
(19 June 1997)

Subject: The information society

The Commission communications to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee
and the Committee of the Regions on ‘the implications of the information society for European Union policies:
preparing the next steps’ (COM(96)0395 final) and ‘the information society: from Corfu to Dublin − the new
emerging priorities’ (CES 1401/96) give rise to concern over employment trends in the information society. This
fundamental issue will be examined further in the opinion on the Green Paper on ‘living and working in the
information society: people first’. Nonetheless, the analyses currently available do not paint a reassuring picture
of the labour market in the future or of the future shape of labour relations. As things stand, there is no reason to
suppose that work will be fairly distributed in the future.

There is concern that the various initiatives taken by the Union might result in a multi-speed liberalization of the
market, which is likely to generate widespread imbalances, particularly in the social field.