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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/99

Finally, the Commission should be aware that fresh delays to the project may compromise the sound and full
execution of Community funds for reasons which could not then be attributed to the national authorities. Given
that we are coming to the end of CSF II, such delays might lead to an accumulation of projects in the final year of
the CSF (1999).

1. Is the Commission aware that the grounds alleged by the losing bidder had already been substantially
addressed in connection with the appeal submitted in Portugal and rejected by the competent national

2. Is the Commission in a position to take steps to remedy the consequences arising from the delays caused by
its request for clarification in the event that those explanations show the appeal to be without foundation? If so,
what will these steps be?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(5 May 1998)

The Commission does not doubt the importance of the proposed rail link for the public of Porto or the benefits it
may bring for day-to-day life in the area.

However, in is capacity as guardian of the Treaties, the Commission has the task of ensuring that the provisions
of Community legislation are correctly applied and that, in this connection, all complaints lodged with it against
practices that may be in breach of Community law are examined, irrespective of whether or not they have been
lodged with the national authorities and irrespective of the outcome of presentation to the national authorities. It
is the Commission’s duty in particular to intervene where Community funds may be involved, as is indeed so in
the case at issue, so as to ensure that they are correctly used.

A request for information has thus been sent to the Portuguese authorities, asking for a swift reply and
suspending the award procedure until the matters raised have been fully clarified. Once it has received that
information, the Commission will take all the steps that it deems appropriate.

(98/C 310/132) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0600/98

by Panayotis Lambrias (PPE) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: Civil aviation safety

Given the concern felt by public opinion about safety in the wake of the recent air disasters, can the Commission
confirm reports by the relevant organisations that the European Union is lagging behind the United States in
investments aimed at promoting civil aviation safety,? What measures does it intend to take to remedy this

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(15 April 1998)

The Commission is not aware of reports of the sort referred to by the Honourable Member and cannot therefore
respond to this part of the question. If the Honourable Member has material relating to such reports he is
welcome to provide them for the Commission.

The Commission has taken a number of initiatives to contribute to an improvement in the already high safety
standards of civil aviation in the Union. In particular, the Honourable Member is referred to the Commission
Communication on ‘Defining a Community aviation safety improvement strategy’ (1) for further details of the
actions proposed by the Commission.

(1) SEC(96) 1083 final.