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3. 4.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/95

− indirectly: by prioritising support for displaced groups in areas covered by Community-financed rural
development projects in Colombia.

(1) OJ L 68, 8.3.1997.

(98/C 102/137) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2698/97


by Maartje van Putten (PSE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Demonstrators in Papua New Guinea

1. a) Is the Commission aware that criminal proceedings are currently under way in Papua New Guinea
(PNG) against Jonathan O’ata, John Kawowo, Powes Parkop and John Napu who had played a leading
role in March 1997 in organizing demonstrations against the deployment of mercenaries by the PNG
authorities in Bougainville?

1. b) If so, is it monitoring these proceedings?

2. Does the Commission agree with Amnesty International that if these men are found guilty and imprisoned
they should be regarded as political prisoners and that this would damage the relatively open political
climate in Papua New Guinea?

3. What opportunities does the Commission see in its contacts with the PNG authorities for calling for
proceedings which respect human rights and political freedoms?

Answer given by Mr Pinheiro on behalf of the Commission


(7 October 1997)

The Commission has followed closely the issue of the accusations against Jonathan O’ata, John Kawowo, Powes
Parkop and John Napu.

After the elections in June, a new government was formed on 29 July 1997 and it immediately became clear that
this new government sought a national reconciliation on issues related to the Sandline mercenaries crisis.

However, the four above named appeared in court on 29 August 1997 on charges of unlawful assembly. The
prosecution appeared not to have their case ready and requested the magistrate to adjourn it, without proposing a
date. This was not accepted by the defence and in the end the charges were dropped. The case is therefore to be
considered closed.

(98/C 102/138) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2702/97


by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE) to the Commission
(28 July 1997)

Subject: Extremely low take-up of funds from the CSF for Greece for the region of Eastern Macedonia and
Thrace

According to reports in the Greek press, the take-up rate of funds under the CSF for the Greek region of Eastern
Macedonia and Thrace is extremely low. To date, i.e. over three years since the CSF for Greece came into
operation, the take-up rate for the Regional Operational Programme (ROP) for Eastern Macedonia and Thrace −
C 102/96 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4. 98

total budget of some Drs 200 billion − is no more than 33%. In view of the fact that Eastern Macedonia and
Thrace is one of the most isolated and least developed regions in Europe as well as in Greece (according to the
Commission’s first report on cohesion, it is among the 25 poorest regions in Europe), will the Commission say
what stage has been reached exactly in the implementation of the ROP for Eastern Macedonia and Thrace? What
are the reasons for the long delays and what precise measures does it intend to take in cooperation with the Greek
authorities to step up the pace of implementation of the programme?

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


(22 September 1997)

The Commission confirms that the rate of absorption for the 1994-1999 operational programme for Eastern
Macedonia and Thrace is presently 33%. However, the rate of absorption is only one of many indicators of the
progress of an operational programme, and does not reflect its implementation quality. In the case of the
programme for Eastern Macedonia and Thrace the Commission has observed that both the quality of
implementation and the rate of absorption are constantly improving.

In order to improve the implementation of the Community support framework (CSF) as a whole, the Greek
government has promoted in the field of public works a number of legislative acts and organizational
adjustments modernizing relevant mechanisms and procedures and making them more effective. Furthermore,
the Greek authorities and the Commission intend to make soon, where necessary, in the framework of the
mid-term review of the CSF, programme adjustments in order further to promote their prompt and effective
implementation.

(98/C 102/139) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2704/97


by Markus Ferber (PPE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Protection of the Blackcock in Austria

Every two years in the Sulzberg region of Austria a blackcock can be shot for a fee of DM 1000. In Germany,
however, the Blackcock is on the red list and is therefore protected throughout the year. While in Germany Black
Grouse are protected, they may be shot in Austria.

Why do two neighbouring countries, which are both members of the EU, have such differing provisions with
regard to nature protection matters?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(22 September 1997)

According to Article 7 of Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (1), the species listed in
Annex II can be hunted under national legislation, as long as Member States ensure that the hunting of these
species does not jeopardize conservation efforts in their distribution area. In the case of the black grouse (Tetrao
tetrix) mentioned by the Honourable Member, this species may only be hunted in those Member States for which
it is indicated in annex II.2. For Austria, hunting of both males and females is allowed whereas for Germany only
males may be hunted. Therefore, the different hunting practices are in full accordance with the legal provisions of
the Directive.

(1) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, as amended by accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden (OJ L 1, 1.1.1995).