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C 304/120

EN

Official Journal of the European Communities WRITTEN QUESTION E-0494/98 by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Council (27 February 1998)

2. 10. 98

(98/C 304/180)

Subject: Application by the Turkish authorities of Article 14 of the Treaty of Lausanne The sacrilegious attack on 3 February 1998 on the Church of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary on the island of Imbros − the perpetrators of which remain at large yet again − is part of a longstanding systematic policy aimed at terrorizing the Greek community on the island. This policy is pursued either directly, e.g. the procedure for drawing up the land register in Gallipoli (my questions E-375/96 (1) and E-3973/96 (2)), or indirectly in the form of the Turkish authorities’ scandalous inertia in failing to arrest those guilty of crimes against the Greek minority and the Orthodox Church. Article 14 of the Treaty of Lausanne states: ‘The islands of Imbros and Tenedos, remaining under Turkish sovereignty, shall enjoy a special administrative organization composed of local elements and furnishing every guarantee for the native non-Moslem population in so far as concerns local administration and the protection of person and property. The maintenance of order will be assured therein by a police force recruited from amongst the local population by the local administration above provided for and placed under its orders.’ What measures will the Council take to persuade Turkey to implement the above special provision of the Treaty, the aim of which is to safeguard the human, religious and minority rights of the Greeks on Imbros and Tenedos?
(1) (2) OJ C 122, 25.4.1996, p. 39. OJ C 186, 18.6.1997, p. 146.

Answer (28 May 1998) The Council regrets the recent developments and is well aware that, under the Treaty of Lausanne of July 1923, the Turkish Government has undertaken commitments towards non-Moslem minorities regarding the protection of persons and property. The European Council, meeting in Luxembourg on 12 and 13 December 1997 recalled, in line with the Council position expressed at the Association Council with Turkey on 29 April 1997, that strengthening Turkey’s links with the European Union also depended on Turkey’s pursuit of reforms, including the alignment of human rights standards and practices on those in force in the European Union as well as respect for and protection of minorities, which also encompass religious minorities. The Council expects all countries aspiring to membership of the European Union to respect international law and their treaty obligations as well as to subscribe to the Union’s goals. The situation regarding democracy and human rights in Turkey remains high on the Council’s agenda. These issues are brought up regularly during contacts with the Turkish authorities.

(98/C 304/181)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-0512/98 by Carlos Carnero Gonzalez (GUE/NGL) to the Commission ´ (17 February 1998)

Subject: Use of Objective 2 Structural Funds in the Autonomous Community of Madrid The media have recently been reporting criticisms by the Federation of Madrid Municipalities (FMM) of the way in which the government of the Autonomous Community of Madrid (CAM) has been managing the Structural Funds received by the region under Objective 2. In view of the importance of this matter, 1. Is the Commission aware of the reasons why the CAM left about ESP 9 000 million of Structural Fund money unused in the three-year period 1994-1996? If so, what is its view of a situation that is likely to result in a significant loss of opportunity for those who benefit from application of the Funds?

2. 10. 98

EN

Official Journal of the European Communities

C 304/121

2. Is the Commission aware that, in breach of its agreements with the FMM, the CAM informed the mayors of the (23) municipalities concerned, when their budgets for 1998 had practically been completed on the basis of those agreements, that almost 46% of the monies they were expecting to receive (ESP 4 700 million) for the period 1997-1999 would be allocated under the heading of the European Social Fund – without any contingency planning – with serious consequences for the areas affected and the investment projects in them (2 000 million less than planned)? If so, does it consider the regional government to have acted properly? 3. Does the Commission think that the difficult situation created by the CAM could be put right by means of the proposals made on 2 February 1998 by the European Affairs Committee of the FMM? 4. Does the Commission consider that the scheme established in the CAM for distributing funds received under Objective 2 between regional and local administrations, by which the municipal councils manage about 15% of the funds available, strikes a minimal balance, bearing in mind that their financial situation is precarious? 5. Does the Commission see any foundation for the verdict reached by various sectors, that the CAM's management of the Structural and Cohesion Funds is lacking in transparency?

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission (23 March 1998) In view of the difficulties in committing funds within the time limit set by the various authorities involved in the operational programmes for Spanish Objective 2 regions for 1994-96, the Commission has proposed carrying over funds not used by Spain to the following period rather than extending that period. The latter option would have resulted in overlapping between the various programmes since, as the programme stipulates, the funds would be allocated strictly to the measures programmed, implementation of which has fallen behind schedule. As a result, the recipients under such measures have more time to implement them than had the period simply been extended and they cannot be claimed to suffer in any way. This concerns most Objective 2 programmes and not only the one for Madrid. This nominal carryover of funds slightly increases the percentage of the operational programme for Madrid accounted for by the European Social Fund (ESF) in 1997-99 as compared with the previous period. As part of cooperation for and joint monitoring of the programme by national and Community authorities, regular checks are conducted on the use made of grants per fund and per measure, which means the necessary steps (amendments and reprogramming) can be taken in accordance with normal practice in administering funds. At all events, no transfer has ever been made to date from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the ESF for Objective 2 programmes for Madrid. Neither the Community Support Framework drawn up by the Commission nor the Spanish authorities specify any percentage of the funds that is to be administered by the local authorities. Nevertheless, the breakdown applied to the programme is not very different from practice followed for other Objective 2 or even Objective 1 programmes. The Commission cannot unfortunately state a position on the other points raised, which are issues of domestic concern for Spain.

(98/C 304/182)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-0513/98 by Jan Sonneveld (PPE) to the Commission (19 February 1998)

Subject: European criticism of the way in which swine fever is being tackled in the Netherlands In the Netherlands Second Chamber, the Netherlands Minister of Agriculture said that the Commission was not treating the Netherlands properly or fairly in its assessment of the way in which the recent outbreak of swine fever was being tackled. Can the Commission indicate in detail its assessment of the way in which the Netherlands Government is tackling swine fever and the basis for that assessment? Is it true that the Commission is trying to link financial implications to its criticism? If so, what are those implications and on what are they based?