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C 304/8 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

(98/C 304/10) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4025/97
by Graham Watson (ELDR) to the Commission
(14 January 1998)

Subject: Financial instruments for regional policy funds

When does the Commission envisage starting studies into possible use of new financial instruments to provide
funds for regional policy?

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission
(12 March 1998)

In the context of Agenda 2000 and the revision of the current structural funds regulations for the period after
1999, the Commission is undertaking a number of studies on the possibilities of using new financial instruments.
It will prepare a report on future cohesion policy support and the use of different financial assistance instruments,
with particular attention to the idea that, in the future, financial support should strike a more judicious balance
between grant aid and other types of funding, such as loans (with or without interest subsidies), loan guarantees
or equity participation, depending on the nature of the investment at hand.

The Commission will consider how the grant financing aid element of structural funds interventions might be
partly replaced, or used to leverage other (eg private) resources, to reduce the burden on the Community budget
but still achieve the cohesion impact desired. As part of this exercise, a study on the impact of financial
engineering measures within a selected number of existing European regional development fund programmes is
currently under way.

After a policy appraisal within the Commission, discussions with the European investment bank (EIB), European
investment fund and selected institutions in Member States are expected to develop technically the different
schemes which may be identified. The outcome of these studies and discussions will take into account the new
mandate given to the EIB, following the Amsterdam European Council, to encourage small and medium sized
enterprises (SME) development, possibly making use of venture capital with involvement of the private banking
sector.

(98/C 304/11) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4036/97
by Bryan Cassidy (PPE) to the Commission
(14 January 1998)

Subject: Producer responsibility obligations (packaging waste) regulations, UK 1996

Can the Commission confirm that it is opening infraction proceedings against the UK over its implementation of
the Directive 94/62/EC (1) and list the Commission’s complaints?

(1) OJ L 365, 31.12.1994, p. 10.

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(23 February 1998)

The Commission is able to inform the Honourable Member that there is a current infringement procedure against
the United Kingdom concerning the partial implementation of Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC of
20 December 1994 on packaging and packaging waste.