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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/55

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(3 April 1998)

The Commission is not aware of a premium system or of a Belgian ministerial decision of the kind referred to by
the Honourable Member. The Commission will take up this issue with the Belgian authorities in order to clarify
the position.

(98/C 310/69) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0370/98

by Nuala Ahern (V) to the Commission
(24 February 1998)

Subject: Submission of the Fourth Report of the Standing Working Group on the Safe Transport of Radioactive
Materials in the EU

When does the Commission intend to submit the Fourth Report of the Standing Working Group on the Safe
Transport of Radioactive Materials in the European Union to Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the
Economic and Social Committee respectively? How does DG XVII determine the composition of the working
group? How many experts from non-governmental environment groups are members of the working group, and
what consultations does the working group have with non-governmental environment groups and research
institutes as part of its work?

Answer given by Mr Papoutsis on behalf of the Commission

(27 March 1998)

A draft communication covering the fourth report of the standing working group on safe transport of radioactive
material will be submitted shortly to the Commission for adoption and distribution to the institutions.

The composition of the working group is based on the resolution of the Parliament of 22 January 1982 (1) which
‘urges the Commission to create a special working party for the transport of radioactive substances and
radioactive waste, consisting of representatives of the Commission and national experts’. The Commission
undertook, subsequently, to implement the request of the Parliament and called upon the Member States to
designate their national experts in the group.

All designated experts are from the side of the competent authorities and their technical support organisations.
None are from non governmental organizations (NGOs). Nevertheless, concerns expressed by NGOs have been
submitted to the standing working group experts for consideration.

(1) OJ C 40, 15.2.1982.

(98/C 310/70) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0374/98

by Nuala Ahern (V) to the Commission
(24 February 1998)

Subject: Assessment of the practice of ‘Sham Recovery’ by companies contracted to use reprocessing services

What assessment has the Commission made of the extent to which the practice of ‘Sham Recovery’ − an
operation that purports to recover reusable material but in reality amounts to waste disposal − has been used by
companies contracted to use the reprocessing services of (a) BNFL at Sellafield, (b) UKAEA Technology at
Dounreay and (c) COGEMA at La Hague?
C 310/56 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission

(16 March 1998)

Reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel as carried out by BNFL at Sellafield, by the UKAEA at Dounreay and by
Cogema at La Hague recovers reusable uranium and plutonium. To date a portion of the reusable material
recovered has been recycled. The rest is held in store and much of it could be fabricated into mixed oxide (MOX)
for eventual use in reactors. None has been disposed of as waste. The process also gives rise to a waste stream
which after further processing, usually including vitrification, is stored for eventual disposal.

(98/C 310/71) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0392/98

by Elisabeth Schroedter (V) to the Commission
(24 February 1998)

Subject: Evaluation of the implementation of the Structural Funds in the Land of Brandenburg, with particular
reference to the environmental impact thereof

Mrs Wulf-Mathies’ reply to my written question to the Commission No P-3614/97 of 6 November 1997 (1) as to
whether it was aware that, in the Land of Brandenburg, the environmental impact assessment in connection with
the award of ERDF funds was conducted by the Land Investment Bank (ILB), as reported in the independent
evaluation document, did not clarify the matter; would the Commission therefore answer the following
supplementary questions:
1. Does the Commission consider that (a) the following statement in the interim evaluation report is inaccurate:
‘with regard to environmental protection, the ILB ascertains, prior to the award of ERDF assistance, whether
the project complies with existing planning proposals or programmes and fits in with current construction
projects and whether, in the case of industrial sites, the plans ensure the prevention or greatest possible
restriction of emissions and and that waste is disposed of in accordance with the relevant statutory
requirements’ (report by the Länder of 5 May 1997 on assistance under the ERDF, the ESF and EAGGF in
the Land of Brandenburg, 1994-1999, p. 17), and (b) in fact, as stated by the Brandenburg Ministry of
Economic Affairs, the environmental authorities’ written approval is required before funds are allocated for
smaller projects?
2. What significance does the Commission attach to the interim evaluation reports called for by the Structural
Funds Regulation?
3. What methods does the Commission use to check whether the provisions concerning environmental impact
evaluation contained in the Structural Funds Regulation No 2081/93 (2) (in the third indent of Article 8(4) (on
Objective1)) are actually implemented?

(1) OJ C 158, 25.5.1998, p. 163.

(2) OJ L 103, 31.7.1993, p. 5.

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission

(27 March 1998)

1. Both the statement on page 17 of the Brandenburg mid-term evaluation and the account previously given
by the Brandenburg Ministry of Economics of its grant procedures are correct. There is no contradiction between
the two positions. European regional development fund (ERDF) support for individual projects is subject to
discussion in the regional support committee (Landesförderausschuss) in which the ministry of Environment is
represented. As the authorising agency the Land investment bank (ILB) ensures compliance with the conditions
set by this committee. When environmental conditions are imposed, the input of the relevant environmental
authorities is sought. Thus the role of the ILB is limited to checking formally that the relevant procedures have
been observed and the conditions met. In this sense the ILB does indeed check ‘whether the projects are
compatible with existing spatial planning and building strategies’, as stated in the evaluation report.

2. In the ‘Common guide for monitoring and interim evaluation’ the Commission identified the aims and
requirements of intermediate evaluation, thus underlining the importance it attaches to this procedure. For the
Commission, intermediate evaluation facilitates decision-making and effective programme management.
Evaluations also enable the Commission to plan effectively future programmes and their cofinancing.