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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/41

(98/C 310/49) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0394/98


by Daniela Raschhofer (NI) to the Commission
(24 February 1998)

Subject: Use of Structural Funds resources to achieve compliance with the Maastricht Criteria

Mr Friedmann, President of the Court of Auditors, recently remarked that Spain and Portugal were using
Structural Funds resources to achieve compliance with the Maastrich Criteria.

Is there any concrete evidence to suggest that Member States are using money from the Structural Funds to
achieve compliance with the Maastricht Criteria?

If so, what is it?

If not, how can Mr Friedmann’s statement be explained?

Have inquiries been made into this matter?

What were the findings of any such investigations by the Court of Auditors?

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-0219/98 and E-0394/98
given by Mr de Silguy on behalf of the Commission
(22 April 1998)

The Commission has no information on investigations carried out by the Court of auditors on this subject, nor
any other evidence which would support the statement attributed to the President of the Court of auditors.

(98/C 310/50) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0226/98


by Armelle Guinebertière (UPE) to the Commission
(13 February 1998)

Subject: Community derogation for tax reduction on fuels used by fire and emergency services

At present, local authorities are responsible for financing both investment and operating costs of departmental
fire services. This represents a substantial financial burden, at a time when tax on fuels is increasing and is
therefore affecting the operation of fire and emergency services. These services are exempted from road tax
requirements; they should also be granted a tax reduction on fuel.

However, the French Government considers that such tax reductions for fire services are not applied in any other
EU Member State and that such a request for a Community derogation, which would require unanimous
approval, is not in line with the aim of harmonizing tax within the EU.

How does the Commission view the idea of introducing measures to reduce tax on fuel used by fire and
emergency services?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(15 April 1998)

The taxation of mineral oils in the Community is governed by the provisions of Council Directive 92/81/EEC on
the harmonization of the structures of excise duties on mineral oils (1).

That Directive contains no Community provision which allows specific exemptions or reductions in duty for
public service vehicles such as those mentioned by the Honourable Member. However, it is possible for a
Member State to request a derogation using the procedure set out in Article 8(4) of the same Directive. Any such
request is subject to approval by the Commission and all other Member States.
C 310/42 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

At present, no Member State has been granted a derogation under this procedure to give special treatment to
vehicles used by the fire services although Italy has such a derogation for ambulances and Greece for the national
police force, according to Council Decision 97/425/EC of 30 June 1997 authorizing Member States to apply and
to continue to apply to certain mineral oils, when used for specific purposes, existing reduced rates of excise duty
or exemptions from excise duty, in accordance with the procedure provided for in Directive 92/81/EEC (2).

(1) OJ L 316, 31.10.1992.


(2) OJ L 182, 10.7.1997.

(98/C 310/51) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0227/98


by Helena Torres Marques (PSE) to the Commission
(13 February 1998)

Subject: Projects funded by the Thermie Programme

According to the ‘Agence Europe’ issue of 12 January 1998, the Commission has funded 134 projects in the
framework of the Thermie Programme.

Will the Commission state what Portuguese projects were funded in this way, and how much funding was
provided for each of them?

Answer given by Mr Papoutsis on behalf of the Commission


(3 April 1998)

In 1997 the Commission granted Community funding under the Thermie programme to 13 demonstration
projects involving 22 Portuguese contractors. Total Community support for these projects came to
ECU 16.4 million, of which ECU 2.7 million for the Portuguese participants.

To give a full picture of Portuguese involvement, the Commission is sending a list of the 13 projects directly to
the Honourable Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat, indicating project titles and descriptions, the overall
support, the Portuguese participants and the individual amount contributed to each project.

(98/C 310/52) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0232/98


by Antonios Trakatellis (PPE) and Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos (PPE) to the Commission
(13 February 1998)

Subject: Reduction in CAP expenditure and adoption of measures to modernize agriculture

In view of the comprehensive overhaul of the Common Agricultural Policy and the future challenges facing it in
the EU described by the Commission in Agenda 2000, will the Commission answer the following questions:
1. How much was made available by the regional funds to cover CAP expenditure and for structural
interventions in the field of agriculture and stockbreeding in Objective 1 regions for the 1992-1997 period,
broken down by year and Member State?
2. What is the percentage reduction of EAGGF, Guarantee Section, spending and how much is this in ECU
compared with the overall budgets for the 1992-1997 period, broken down by year and Member State?
3. What was the trend in EAGGF, Guidance Section, spending (percentage and amounts) compared to total
EAGGF spending and compared with the total budgets for the 1992-1997 period, broken down by year and
Member State?