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C 76/118 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 3.

98

The Commission was not informed at the time of the fire but there is no obligation on Member States to do so in
events such as the one described.

(98/C 76/226) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2508/97


by Ernesto Caccavale (UPE) to the Commission
(22 July 1997)

Subject: Bureaucratic and financial obstacles put in the way of beneficiaries of ESF, ADAPT, Now, Horizon and
Youthstart by the Italian Government

From a comparative study it emerges that Italy is the only Member State of the Union to impose financial
restrictions, in the form of bank guarantees, on entities (almost always non-profit-making) which have access to
funding under the European Social Fund, the ADAPT programme and the employment initiatives (Now, Horizon
and Youthstart).

In an information note dated 9 May 1997 the Italian Ministry of Labour stated that a bank guarantee must be
provided even for payments to be made from Community resources.

Does the Commission intend to ascertain, without further delay, whether the obligation to provide a bank
guarantee imposed by the Italian State on those who wish to obtain EU funding is legitimate and compatible with
the Treaties?

Does the Commission intend to ascertain definitively whether other Member States have similar procedures?

Finally, does the Commission intend to ask the Italian State to discontinue this behaviour which constitutes a
serious obstacle to the expenditure objectives set by the Commission for the European Social Funds and the
employment initiatives?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission


(9 September 1997)

Making the granting of national and Community assistance conditional on the existence of a bank guarantee is a
national decision.

In principle, such a procedure does not conflict with Community legislation.

Only Italy imposes an across-the-board requirement for a bank guarantee. Other Member States have introduced
measures to safeguard the funds allocated.

The decision to establish a bank guarantee system is a matter for national jurisdiction.

(98/C 76/227) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2509/97


by Ernesto Caccavale (UPE) to the Commission
(22 July 1997)

Subject: Kaleidoscope funding and Southern Italy

Official figures supplied by the Commission show that an extremely low percentage of funding under the
Kaleidoscope programme is allocated to cultural organizations in Southern Italy. For example, the ‘Festival delle
Torri’ held at Cava de’Tirreni was automatically selected and subsequently excluded from financing. The official
justification given by the Commission is that financial resources were limited.