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11. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 76/115

Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission


(5 September 1997)

1. and 2. National commercial and fiscal legislation covers in principle the obligation to make provisions in
the accounts, their appropriate level and their fiscal treatment. As far as these provisions do not seek, through
their object and general structure, to create an advantage in favour of certain enterprises or certain sectors of the
industry, state aid in the meaning of Article 92 (1) EC Treaty is not involved. The information available does not
indicate to the Commission that operators of nuclear power plants enjoy privileged treatment concerning
provisions and their fiscal treatment.

3. It does not fall within the Commission’s competence to judge whether alternative proposals are
appropriate. In accordance with the subsidiarity principle a Member State may, within the framework of
Community law, adopt any legislative measure which it considers to be appropriate. The Commission examines
the compatibility of a concrete project of a Member State with Community law in general and competition law in
particular.

(98/C 76/222) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2486/97


by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(8 July 1997)

Subject: Operational Programme for Education and Initial Training for Greece

Sub-programme 1, measure 2, of the Operational Programme for Education and Initial Training for Greece
concerns the establishment of a uniform secondary school.

Given that a timetable exists for the implementation of this measure, will the Commission say:
1. what the take-up rate for this measure was in 1994, 1995 and 1996, and what estimates exist for 1997;
2. where delays occurred in the take-up of appropriations, what the main causes of these delays were; and
3. whether it is aware of the cost of the above measure 1.2?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission


(12 September 1997)

Measure 2 of sub-programme 1 of the programme in question, co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), is
intended for the development of a ‘single (or integrated) high school’ which, according to the Greek Ministry of
Education, would to some extent unify and build upon existing technical, vocational and general schools. The
different regional characteristics would be taken into account in this type of school through the curricula,
educational programmes and areas of study. Development of the ‘single high school’ would for the Greek
authorities be a decisive element in their education policy.

1. There was practically no action on the measure during 1994 and 1995 (at least as far as the use of
appropriations is concerned), and 1996 was a programming period. Efforts were made by the Ministry of
Education to define and plan its action. On the basis of this analysis, the programme monitoring committee has
adopted the operation as a whole.

Despite definition of the measure at action level, there is still much to be done at a lower level (sub-actions,
sub-projects, etc.) regarding the description, specialisation, clarification, administration and implementation of
the operation. The legislative elections in September 1996 and the change of Minister resulted in a further delay.

Today, there is at least one action under the measure still to be defined (the one relating to a new system for the
changeover from secondary to tertiary education), lower-level programming has not been completed and there
are considerable administrative and management shortcomings.

In 1994 and 1995, no appropriations were used, and approximately ECU 6 million in 1996. The forecasts for
1997, 1998 and 1999 are around ECU 14, 24 and 42 million respectively.
C 76/116 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 3. 98

2. In the Commission's opinion, the main reasons for the delay are as follows:
– the relevant policy is imprecise with, as a result, considerable difficulties in precisely defining the content of
the operation;
– lack of programming structures and significant shortcomings in structures for implementing, administering
and monitoring the measure;
– frequent changes in the personnel responsible for the design and implementation of the operation;
– responsibilities overlapping between a number of departments and persons;
– vague, very large-scale and perhaps over-ambitious operations, judging by the results.

In the light of the significant delay and the high budget initially allocated to this measure, and taking into account
the conclusions of the mid-term programme evaluation, the Ministry of Education and the Commission should,
in the context of the partnership, re-examine the operation when the programme review takes place, which in
principle should be before the end of this year.

3. The appropriations (its budget for the period 1994-1999) currently allocated to measure 1.2, the ‘single high
school’, amount to ECU 86.4 million (total cost, of which the Community contribution is 75%). It should be
noted that the European Regional Development Fund is also contributing to the operation under measure 1.4 of
the ‘school infrastructure and equipment’ programme. The Commission does not have information as to the
exact amount of these appropriations, as the distribution takes place at project level.

(98/C 76/223) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2487/97


by Klaus Rehder (PSE) to the Commission
(18 July 1997)

Subject: EU aid for processes for enriching drinking water with oxygen

1. What is the Commission’s attitude towards processes for improving drinking water with oxygen?

2. Is there any way in which the European Union can provide aid for new processes for enriching drinking
water with oxygen?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(11. September 1997)

Water intended for human consumption must meet the requirements of the drinking water Directive
80/778/EEC (1). In respect of the parameter dissolved oxygen, there is no guide level, or maximum admissible
concentration, and therefore there is no mandatory standard with which drinking water must comply. The
Community therefore does not have the possibility to demand that oxygen is added to drinking water to improve
its quality.

However, in Directive 80/778/EEC there is a comment in respect of the parameter dissolved oxygen, that the
saturation value should be ‘greater than 75% except for underground water’. This means that it is advisable for
surface water with a natural dissolved oxygen content of less than 75% to be oxygenated in order to improve its
quality.

Under the proposal for a revised drinking water Directive (2), which is currently being discussed in Council,
dissolved oxygen is proposed as an ‘indicator’ parameter with a parametric value of greater than 50% saturation.
This means that where drinking water fails to meet this value, Member States should investigate the cause, and
take action to remedy the situation only where this is necessary in order to protect human health.

(1) OJ L 229, 30.8.1980.


(2) COM(94) 612 final.