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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/107

Given that such conduct has adverse economic consequences and harms the Middle East peace process, what
does the Commission propose to do to ensure that all parties comply with the EU-Israel Association Agreement?

Answer given by Mr Marin on behalf of the Commission
(2 April 1998)

In 1994 the Commission requested the administrative co-operation of the Israeli customs, provided by the 1975
co-operation agreement between the Community and Israel, in order to clarify cases of alleged exports of
non-originating Israeli orange juice into the Community at preferential rates. In accordance with the practice in
these cases, the Commission asked the Israeli authorities to verify the authenticity of EUR-1 export certificates
issued by Israel for exports of orange juice in the period under investigation.

The Israeli customs however, raising a number of legal, administrative and technical obstacles, declared
themselves unable to proceed to the requested verification. The issue was raised at the December 1995 meeting
of the Community-Israel customs co-operation committee that had been called in order to find a solution.
However, no agreement was reached on that occasion. The lack of co-operation by the Israeli customs and the
arguments raised against the repeated Commission’s requests to verify EUR-1 export certificates led the
Commission to question the overall ability of the Israeli authorities to implement the provisions of the Protocol
on rules of origin.

Pending settlement of this issue, the Commission, with a view to protecting the financial interests of Community
importers of Israeli goods, published a notice (1) warning importers of its reservations concerning the
effectiveness of the implementation by Israel of the preferential trade arrangements.

This matter was further discussed at the twelfth meeting of the Community-Israel co-operation committee, called
at the initiative of the Commission, which took place on 28 November 1997. On that occasion, Israel undertook
to put into effect a number of operational steps in order to meet the long-standing requests of the Community.

The Commission is satisfied with the more cooperative attitude shown by the Israeli authorities in fulfilling the
commitments undertaken on that occasion. A first batch of results of verification of EUR-1 certificates issued in
1995 has already been transmitted to the Commission within the agreed deadline, together with the relevant
Israeli domestic legislation on the matter. A further batch concerning the verification of EUR-1 certificates
issued in 1996 and 1997 should be transmitted shortly.

The Commission is prepared to re-examine its position and to withdraw the notice to the Community importers
when the commitments made by Israel at the meeting of the cooperation committee in November 1997 are
fulfilled.

(1) OJ C 338, 8.11.1997.

(98/C 304/161) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0446/98
by Concepció Ferrer (PPE) to the Commission
(27 February 1998)

Subject: Interreg II programme

The aim of the Interreg II programme on cross-border cooperation is to implement effective mechanisms to
facilitate cooperation between frontier regions. With regard to each of the four measures concerning Spain under
the Interreg II programme, will the Commission say what projects have been approved for the period 1994-1999,
what funds have been granted, where the projects are located and what percentage of the total cost of each of the
projects has been funded?
C 304/108 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10. 98

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

As with the Structural Funds in general, the Interreg II (1) Community Initiative is implemented in accordance
with the principle of subsidiarity. The Commission therefore approved multiannual operational programmes,
while the selection and approval of projects is left to the national, regional or local authorities, as appropriate.

Under Interreg II, the Commission has allocated ECU 484.7 million (in 1994 prices) to Spain for Interreg IIA
(development of the border areas and cross-border cooperation), ECU 80 million (in 1995 prices) for Interreg IIB
(construction of interconnectors between the Portuguese and Spanish gas grids) and ECU 116.1 million (in 1996
prices) for Interreg IIC (regional planning), including approximately ECU 10 million for transnational
cooperation projects and ECU 106 million to alleviate drought.

Spain is currently involved in several cross-border or transnational operational programmes (OPs) in receipt of
the above Community funding, namely:
− OP for Spain-France, total volume: approximately ECU 140 million; total Community contribution:
ECU 1.6 million;
− OP for Spain-Portugal, total volume: approximately ECU 755 million; total Community contribution:
ECU 52.0 million;
− OP for Spanish regions bordering Morocco, total volume: approximately ECU 185 million; total Community
contribution: ECU 100.0 million;
− OP for the Mediterranean and the French and Italian Alps, total volume: approximately ECU 23 million; total
Community contribution: ECU 13.3 million;
− OP for South-West Europe, total volume: approximately ECU 10 million; total Community contribution:
ECU 5.2 million.

(1) OJ C 180, 1.7.1994.

(98/C 304/162) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0448/98
by Gerardo Bianco (PPE), Michl Ebner (PPE) and Pierluigi Castagnetti (PPE) to the Council
(27 February 1998)

Subject: Cavalese (Trento) tragedy

On 3 February 1998 an American military plane cut the cables of the Mount Cermis, Cavalese, cable car, causing
the death of 20 people of six different nationalities. The plane was on a low-level training flight and is suspected
of violating the safety rules for such military operations

Does the Presidency intend to intervene vis-à-vis all commands of air forces operating over European territory
and take all the steps needed to ensure compliance with the safety standards laid down by flight regulations?

Answer
(4 June 1998)

The Honourable Members are certainly well aware of the great importance the Council attaches to matters
regarding aviation safety.

With the aim of improving standards, the European Community is now about to apply for membership of
Eurocontrol with a view to establishing and implementing a mechanism for the multilateral development and
harmonisation of safety regulations in air traffic management. At the same time, the European Community is
studying the possibility of creating an European Aviation Safety Authority.

Regarding lessons to be drawn from the particular accident referred to by the Honourable Members, the Council
has not received any proposal from the Commission.