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3. 4.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/97

(98/C 102/140) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2705/97

by Patricia McKenna (V) to the Commission

(1 September 1997)

Subject: Ireland and the Cohesion Fund

How much has Ireland spent under its Cohesion Fund entitlements to date? Which projects have received
assistance under the Cohesion Funds?

How many applications has the Commission received from the Irish authorities for assistance under the
Cohesion Funds? Can it give details of the applications which it is currently considering?

Has the Commission decided on any likely priority of projects for such funding? If so, can it give details?

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

(23 September 1997)

Regulations (EEC) No 792/93 establishing the cohesion financial instrument (1) and (EEC) No 1164/94
establishing the Cohesion fund (2) provide that Ireland’s share of the fund’s total resources in the period
1993-1999 shall be between 7%-10%, amounting to MECU 1,160 - 1,515 (1992 prices). In the period 1993-1996
a total of MECU 22 (current prices) has been committed to projects in Ireland, which amounts almost exactly to
9% of the total amount committed from the Cohesion fund in the same period.

By letter of 22 July 1997 the Commission forwarded to the Honourable Member a complete list of projects in
Ireland which have received assistance.

More applications are made for Cohesion fund assistance than the fund is able to co-finance. In total, there have
been so far a little less than 200 applications for assistance for projects in Ireland, some of which concern stages
of projects.

The priorities for funding are largely laid down in the Cohesion fund regulation, which requires the fund to assist
large projects, in principle projects which cost not less than MECU 10, and which are of major importance to the
achievement of Community objectives in the areas of environment and transport infrastructure. The Commission
has decided, with the support of the Parliament, that the balance between the two areas of assistance should be a
50/50 distribution for the period 1993-1999 as a whole.

In the field of the environment, the priorities followed in Ireland reflect Council Directive 80/778/EEC relating to
the quality of water intended for human consumption (3) and Council Directive 91/271/EEC of 21 May 1996
concerning urban waste water treatment (4). In particular, projects for towns and cities where the latter Directive
requires treatment facilities to be established by the years 1998 and 2000 have high priority. The transport
infrastructure projects assisted by the fund are those which form part of or provide access to the trans-European
transport network, and in particular those selected during the Essen European Council.

The Commission is currently considering a number of projects in Ireland for assistance from the Cohesion fund
in 1997 or later. Detailed information on the funding strategy and the projects assisted is given in the annual
reports on the fund. The annual report for 1996 (5) was published on 23 June 1997 and has been transmitted to the

(1) OJ L 79, 1.4.1993.

(2) OJ L 130, 25.5.1994.
(3) OJ L 229, 15.7.1980 as amended by OJ L 377, 31.12.1991 .
(4) OJ L 135, 30.5.1991.
(5) COM(97) 302 final