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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?
9. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/43

4. What measures as regards modernization, structural intervention and programmes did the Community take
in respect of the CAP and what sums were made available for the implementation thereof from the budgets
of the 1992-1997 period, broken down by year and Member State?
5. What measures and programmes were adopted for young farmers and the introduction of new technologies
in farm holdings and in the stockbreeding sector and what sums were allocated during the 1992-1997 period,
broken down by year and Member State?
6. Is there any correlation in absolute terms (ECU) between the reduction of agricultural spending of the
EAGGF, Guarantee Section, and the development of modernization and intervention measures for
agriculture for the 1992-1997 period, broken down by year and Member State?
7. What specific measures will be taken to check the steady decline in agricultural incomes and what steps can
be taken to ensure the development of a modern, competitive and self -sufficient agricultural sector in the
EU, faced with the challenges of international competition and the forthcoming enlargement of the EU?

Supplementary answer
given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(6 May 1998)

Because of the length of the answer, which includes a number of tables, the Commission is sending it direct to the
Honourable Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat.

(98/C 310/53) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0233/98


by Clive Needle (PSE) to the Commission
(13 February 1998)

Subject: Passenger safety in trains

Would the European Commission outline its activities with respect to passenger safety in trains, with particular
regard to those services which may be heavily used? In particular:
1. Is there any evidence to suggest that injuries will be worse on a heavily-loaded train than one which is lightly
loaded, on indeed that the opposite is true?
2. Are EU rules applicable to the number of passengers carried in trains?
3. Is railway rolling stock designed to specifications which will take a load ‘well in excess of full and standing’
and, if so, are there any restrictions (other than physical impossibility) on the numbers of passengers carried
in trains?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission


(26 March 1998)

The Commission notes that rail accidents are, fortunately, not frequent and that travel by train is much safer than
other modes of land transport. Naturally, however, there is constant need for improvement.

On the specific questions raised:


1. There is some evidence that passengers standing in areas of carriages designed to absorb energy in an
accident (crumple zones) will suffer more severe injuries than if they were seated. However, there is no
comprehensive evidence on the relative severity of injuries sustained in fully or lightly loaded carriages.
This would depend on the nature of the accident.