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C 310/56 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10.


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.
9. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/57

3. During the programming phase the regional partners must give written assurance that measures cofinanced
by the ERDF will be compatible with Community environmental legislation. The subsidiarity and partnership
principles mean that the regional partners are responsible for programme implementation and for checking that
environmental legislation is observed. Further, annual reports must state what measures have been taken to
ensure environmental protection. The latest available report for Brandenburg states that for all projects the
opinion of the environmental protection department of the local administration is required. Compliance may also
be verified and ensured by means of on-the-spot checks by the Commission.

(98/C 310/72) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0398/98

by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(24 February 1998)

Subject: Conversion of an Armenian Monastery into a Hotel in Occupied Cyprus

According to reports in the Turkish newspaper the ‘Kibris Postasi’ the Armenian monastery of ‘Sourp Magar’
dating from the year 1000 AD which was bombarded by the Turkish invading forces is to be converted into a
50-bed hotel. The monastery is situated in the area of Kyrenia in occupied Cyprus. The illegitimate government
intends to lease it for 49 years for $20 000 annually.

This is another example of the disregard shown by the Turkish occupying forces for the cultural heritage of the
island and is a clear indication of the respect due to Christian buildings in the eyes of the powers illegally
occupying the Northern part of Cyprus.

What action does the Commission intend to take in response to this manifestly illegal action by a brutal regime
supported only by its 40 000 strong armed forces which have been occupying 40% of Cyprus for 24 years?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission

(16 March 1998)

The recent visits of 800 Turkish Cypriots to a mosque in Larnaca and the pilgrimages of several hundreds of
Greek Cypriots to a monastery in the north of the island are modest signs of progress in the relations between the
two communities. The respect of each other’s cultural heritage is a fundamental step in preserving the identify of
the two Cypriot communities. The Commission would like to utilise part of the funds of the fourth financial
protocol for the restoration of monuments in the entire island (as a bi-communal project). Although until now this
has not been possible, the Commission will continue to support this type of initiative and hopes that the political
circumstances in Cyprus might eventually allow its implementation.

(98/C 310/73) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0404/98

by Katerina Daskalaki (UPE) to the Commission
(24 February 1998)

Subject: Problems affecting the production of olive oil, cotton and citrus fruits

Greek farmers blame problems affecting the production of olive oil, cotton and citrus fruits on what they regard
as particularly unfavourable decisions by Brussels. They maintain that Greek cotton production is coming under
pressure and that citrus fruit production is being adversely affected by the WTO agreement limiting subsidized
export levels. Greek olive growers are suffering as a result of over production in Spain and the refusal of the
Commissioner responsible to take appropriate measures. Community subsidies for Greek olive oil have been
reduced by 30% but instead of speeding up Community intervention the Commission is now calling for the
creation of Community-funded private reserves. Is the Commission aware that Greece does not have the
necessary infrastructure and does it intend to take any measures of a general nature to alleviate the situation of