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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/69

2. Is the Commission aware that the franchise system tax will be abolished in the future?

3. Does maintenance of this tax not conflict with Community directives and is it not an obstacle to the
development of telecommunications?

(1) OJ L 192, 24.7.1990, p. 10.

Answer given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission

(1 April 1998)

1. The Commission does not have updated information about the state of the concession levy imposed on
telecommunications operators as mentioned by the Honourable Member, although it would appear from bilateral
contacts with the Italian authorities that the abolition of the levy is being discussed within the Italian government.

2. The Commission has not been informed of the timing of the abolition of the concession levy.

3. The regime introduced by Directive 97/13/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 10 April 1997 on a
common framework for general authorizations and individual licences in the field of telecommunications
services (1), moves away from the traditional concession approach and requires that fees are only imposed to
cover the administrative costs incurred in the issue, management, control and enforcement of the relevant
authorizations. The Italian government, which has already transposed these principles by DPR n. 319/97 of
19 September 1997, has now to take the necessary steps to comply with them. Under Article 22(1) of Directive
97/13/EC, Member States are required to make all necessary efforts to bring existing authorizations into line with
the Directive before 1 January 1999. The Commission will monitor the process of adjustment of the existing

(1) OJ L 117, 7.5.1997.

(98/C 310/89) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0465/98

by Allan Macartney (ARE) to the Commission
(27 February 1998)

Subject: The failure of Member States to fulfil MAGP III targets for fishing fleets

With reference to its declaration at the meeting of the Council of Ministers in April 1997, what action does the
Commission envisage taking against those Member States that have not respected the multiannual guidance
programmes within the time period envisaged or have not established the means to monitor the programmes or
the means to inform the Commission of the exact situation of their fishing fleets with respect to the objectives of
the programmes?

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 1998)

The objectives of the multiannual guidance programmes (MAGP) for the period 1997-2001 were calculated by
applying the appropriate reduction rates to the objectives for the end of 1996 that were fixed by the previous
programmes. This means that those Member States that failed to respect the objectives for 1996 must make up
the backlog as well as achieving any further reductions required during the period of the current programme.

This does not mean that the 1996 deadline for meeting the objectives of the previous programmes has been
superseded. Indeed, the Commission has taken the first step that might lead to legal action against those Member
States that have failed to meet their obligations. A number of letters informing them of the possibility of an
infringement procedure have been sent, and concern either the failure to meet the objectives of the programmes
or the failure to keep details of the fleets up to date in the Community fleet register or the failure to re-measure the
tonnage of the fleets in units of gross tonnes.
C 310/70 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

The Commission is examining the responses of the Member States to these letters. A combined team of
Community inspectors and officials has also begun a series of visits to all Member States in order to ensure that
the necessary framework is in place to comply with the obligations of the MAGPs. If the Commission is not
convinced that a genuine effort is being made to respect these obligations, it will not hesitate to take the necessary
legal action against the Member States concerned. In the meantime, Community assistance has already been
suspended for some Member States until the MAGP III objectives are achieved.

(98/C 310/90) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0468/98

by Richard Howitt (PSE) to the Commission
(27 February 1998)

Subject: Completion of structural fund programmes 1994-1999

What amount and what percentage of Structural Fund payments by objective and by Member State were paid
after the end of the previous programming period on 31 December 1993? Will the Commission produce a similar
table based on current estimates for monies likely to be outstanding on 31 December 1999? What procedures is
the Commission proposing to use to ensure that current programmes are closed efficiently without any undue
delays in final payments or reduction in the quality of the projects?

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

(7 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 310/91) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0470/98

by Richard Howitt (PSE) to the Commission
(27 February 1998)

Subject: Article 10

Given the budget appropriations 1994-98, what is the exact percentage of structural fund spending devoted to
date to Article 10 during the current programming period? What amount would be required in the 1999 budget to
ensure that the first one per cent is achieved overall? Is the Commission committed to putting this forward in its
preliminary draft budget for 1999?

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

(7 April 1998)

Under the current programming period 1994-1999, 450 MECU have been allocated for spending under Article 10
of the European regional development fund (ERDF) Regulation (1). This represents approximately 0.56% of
ERDF. The sum representing 1% would be some 800 MECU. However, the Commission does not intend to
provide for an increase beyond 0.56% through its proposal for the 1999 budget.

(1) OJ L 193, 31.7.1993.