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C 304/84 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

Joint answer to Written Questions
E-0344/98, E-0345/98, E-0346/98, E-0347/98 and E-0348/98
given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(18 March 1998)

The Parliament has scheduled its discussions on the Commission’s proposal for a Council directive establishing
a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (1) for the March 1998 and April 1998 meetings of
the environment committee. The Commission will address the questions raised by the Honourable Member
during those meetings.

(1) COM(97)47.
COM(97)614.
COM(98)76.

(98/C 304/127) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0352/98
by Ernesto Caccavale (UPE) to the Commission
(6 February 1998)

Subject: Nature of eligible expenditure for training activities financed by ESF contributions

Local development agencies, set up as consortia and/or associations of institutions, SMEs, universities, and
professional organizations, are today playing an increasingly important role in promoting or implementing
spatial development operations, not least because they can pool applications and identify objectives and are able
to bring about synergy by making efficient use of resources.

Among their spatial development operations, pride of place has to be given to training activities.

From the legal and operational point of view, the consortia and/or associations in question are different and
separate from their partners and/or members, since they have their own VAT registration numbers, are managed
separately and keep separate accounts for their specific purposes, and have their own departments.

The ‘datasheet No 4’ published in conjunction with Commission Decision 97/322/EC (1) gives ‘Details on the
principle of real cost’. Circular No 130/95, issued by the Italian Ministry of Labour on 25 October 1995, relates to
the concept of ‘delegation of training activities’. In the light of the foregoing, and with a view to avoiding
excessive red tape and maintaining the standard of project activities, will the Commission answer the following
questions:
1. Do local development agencies have to be regarded as the most suitable bodies to implement and manage
development operations, including training activities?
2. When an agency intends to implement a training project, should an appropriately qualified partner and/or
member be made responsible for one or more stages of the projected activities − so as to achieve the
desirable and necessary synergy − rather than assigning the task to bodies not belonging to the consortium
and/or association?
3. Given that development agencies intending to carry out a training project must not seek to make a profit, is it
considered acceptable, in the case described in point 2, that partners and/or members should charge market
prices for their services when they have not exceeded the approved budget or the limits laid down?
4. Are development agencies, and no other bodies, consequently entitled to recover not more than the costs
incurred by partners and/or members in rendering the services in question?
5. Is the Commission aiming to support the activities and projects sponsored by local development agencies?

(1) OJ L 146, 5.6.1997, p. 11.

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission
(10 March 1998)

1. The Commission does not give preference to any particular body, since it is not involved ex ante in the
selection and evaluation procedure. The Commission confines itself to laying down − in a general manner, and
in partnership with the Member State − the criteria and guidelines which the final beneficiaries must observe in
implementing actions that are co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).