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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/73

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


(27 April 1998)

The Commission is collecting the information it needs to answer the question. It will communicate its findings as
soon as possible.

(98/C 310/96) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0482/98


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

Subject: Projections of regional performance during the next programming period

Given the fact that structural fund programmes are intended to assist current changes in regional and local
economies and have too often in the past been based on out-of-date statistics, which studies has the Commission
undertaken or will it undertake on projection(s) for regional performance and by industrial sector for the period
2000-2006? What are the Commission’s preliminary findings in this respect? How does the Commission intend
to incorporate this analysis into the content of programmes for the new period after 1999?

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


(30 March 1998)

The decisions on the eligibility of regions under objective 1 and the new objective 2 proposed by the Commission
on 18 March 1998 (1) must be based on the most recent data. The time lags for the availability of such data vary.
For example, for statistics on the gross domestic product (GDP), the time lag for regional data is just over two
years. For regional unemployment rates the time lag is one year. Given that objectives 1 and 2 address structural
problems, which by definition change only slowly over time, these delays are well within acceptable limits and
remain a sound basis for eligibility decisions.

Such data represent a considerably more solid basis for decisions on the eligibility of regions than information
deriving from sectoral or regional projections. The levels of uncertainty surrounding such projections are beyond
acceptable limits given the many factors which determine economic performance. The Commission therefore
has no plans to develop new regional criteria in this respect.

(1) COM(98) 131 final.

(98/C 310/97) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0485/98


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

Subject: Continuity and change in eligible areas between different structural fund programming periods

Will the Commission provide a table of figures which show the level of continuity in terms of number of areas
and percentage of funding totals for eligible areas retaining eligibility at each successive reform of the Structural
Funds for the European Regional Development Fund in 1988 and 1993? Will the Commission provide
projections, based on current estimates, for the same figures in respect of the new programming period
1999-2006? Which studies has the Commission undertaken on the benefits of continuity between periods to
enable the completion of structural change, as against changes in eligibility in order to target need more
effectively? What preliminary conclusions does the Commission draw in this respect?
C 310/74 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

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


(27 March 1998)

For information on the areas eligible and the associated level of financial support under the structural funds, the
Commission refers to Regional development study No 26, which is sent direct to the Honourable Member and to
Parliament’s Secretariat, and in particular to the statistical annex which sets out this information by Member
State. The Commission is not in a position to provide equivalent information for the period 2000-2006. This must
wait until the new regulatory framework for the structural funds has been agreed by the Council, providing the
basis for the subsequent decisions on eligible areas and the corresponding indicative financial allocations.

The Commission considers that in the identification of eligible areas under the structural funds it is necessary to
concentrate assistance on the worst-affected areas, in order to reduce disparities in accordance with Article 13a of
the EC Treaty.

With regard to objective 2, the current regulations provide for two 3-year programming periods. The list of areas
eligible for objective 2 has, however, remained virtually unchanged during the two periods, which is the result of
a decision taken by the Commission in close consultation with the Member States in the interest of continuity.
The Commission will take this experience into account in its proposals for the duration of programmes in the
next period.

(98/C 310/98) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0488/98


by Patricia McKenna (V) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Information activities on the Amsterdam Treaty

The European Commission recently began circulating the second edition of its booklet ‘A new Treaty for
Europe: a citizen’s guide’, as a free insert in Irish news publications. The booklet has been published as part of
the Prince information programme.

Last summer the Commission said that the first edition of this booklet had a print run of 534 000 for the EU as a
whole and 3 000 for Ireland in particular.

How many copies of the second edition have been printed? Can the Commission indicate how many copies have
been allocated to each Member State?

How much has the Commission spent on printing and circulating this booklet to date? Can it give a breakdown of
expenditure for each Member State?

How many further copies of the booklet (both current and future editions) does the Commission plan to have
printed, and can it indicate how many copies it plans to allocate to each Member State?

The Commission is also in the process of organizing public seminars and conferences in Ireland on the
Amsterdam Treaty. Can it give details of how many such events on the Amsterdam Treaty it will be holding in
Ireland, how this will compare with other Member States and a breakdown thereof? Under what programme(s)
are the events taking place?

Can the Commission indicate how much will be spent on organizing such events in each Member State?

Answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission


(7 April 1998)

The first edition of the brochure ‘A new Treaty for Europe-Citizens guide’ cost ECU 99 050. 534 000 brochures
were printed at a cost of ECU 0.18 per unit. 1 384 000 brochures were printed in a second edition at a cost of
ECU 161 480 that is ECU 0.12 per unit. Brochures were distributed in the Member States, inter alia by the offices
of the Parliament and Commission, as follows: