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C 330 E/82 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.11.

2000

railway lines to Galicia in order to achieve speeds of roughly 200 kilometres per hour (km/h) between
Madrid and Monforte de Lemos, and upgrading the conventional lines to Orense and Santiago and towards
La Coruna, Vigo et Oporto (Portugal).

As regards the development study of the Vigo-Oporto Atlantic corridor referred to by the Honourable
Member, the Commission would confirm that 50 % of the total cost of that study was co-financed in 1999.
Its basic aim covered the following two areas: launching transport infrastructure projects in the areas being
examined (Galicia and Northern Portugal) while seeking practical joint public/private funding options, and
gradually helping to integrate the ground, sea and air transport infrastructure networks, thus guaranteeing
the lasting mobility of persons and goods. The results of the study are expected in 2001.

(1) OJ L 228, 9.9.1996.

(2000/C 330 E/090) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0091/00

by Camilo Nogueira Román (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(26 January 2000)

Subject: Milk production surpluses and quotas allocated to the Member States

Does the Commission consider it reasonable and in accordance with what the European Union needs in
order to be able to develop evenly (particularly in view of the increasing openness of its markets to outside
economies) for there to be continued discrimination in the allocation of milk quotas to the Member States?
The quotas allocated bear no relation to domestic consumption, as demonstrated by the fact that, in recent
years, countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark have had surpluses for export of 6 746,
4 301 and 2 507 tonnes per year whilst Spain had a shortage of 1 004 tonnes, a quantity which it could
perfectly easily have produced itself, especially in regions with the appropriate skills and capacity and, in
particular, in Objective 1 regions such as Galicia.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(23 February 2000)

Milk quotas were allocated on the basis not of consumption in geographical zones but of each farmer’s
production over a reference period. This was the only efficient way of acting. If the production quota in
each Member State had been restricted to its probable consumption the farmers concerned would have
been seriously wronged, it would have been impossible to allocate quotas fairly and a substantial section of
European agriculture would have been destroyed. In addition a full milk supply for the Community would
no longer have been certain.

It is likewise for reasons of efficiency that farmers’ individual quotas are established and administered at
Member State level. Community-level management would require a large staff and have numerous
drawbacks, with cumulated errors and delays in the Member States eventually paralysing the system.

Moreover, the free circulation of goods means that any regional imbalance between production and
consumption can easily be remedied and is in line with the single market principle that ensures best
distribution of the factors of production.

In Spain in 1999 there were 1 150 tonnes of skimmed milk powder in intervention storage and
12 631 tonnes of butter were bought in by intervention. Thus even before entry into force of the Spanish
quota increase decided on under Agenda 2000 the Spanish market was in surplus for these products. By
comparison for the same period in Denmark, to which the Honourable Member refers, there were no
intervention stocks and no milk products were bought in.
21.11.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 330 E/83

Lastly, it should remembered that since introduction of the quota system the reference quantities allocated
to the Member States mentioned by the Honourable Member have been either left unchanged (Ireland) or
reduced (Denmark, Netherlands). By contrast those assigned to Spain have been substantially increased, by
17 % between 1986 and 1999 and 29 % between 1986 and 2001. For these periods the European average
fell by 4 % and 2 %. Distribution of the quota between regions and farmers is in each Member State a
national responsibility using impartial criteria.

(2000/C 330 E/091) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0107/00

by Juan Ojeda Sanz (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 January 2000)

Subject: Revision of TEN guidelines  safety in projects of common interest

Under the Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network adopted in
1996, the Commission is to provide a report indicating whether or not those guidelines should be revised.

Bearing in mind the unacceptably high rate of fatal accidents linked to transport operations (above all road
transport), it appears paradoxical to say the least that those guidelines should not attach the same
importance to transport safety as to environmental protection (which merits a specific article).

Given that the above guidelines form the basis for drawing up infrastructure projects of common
European interest which will receive financial support from the European institutions, will the Commission
introduce a specific article in its proposal for new guidelines with a view to requiring a safety impact study
for all projects to be funded by the Union?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(9 March 2000)

The Commission shares the Honourable Member’s view that the number of fatal accidents involving
transport, and in particular road transport, is intolerable.

Ensuring the lasting mobility of goods and persons under the best possible safety conditions is one of the
aims of the trans-European transport network. In order to update the Community’s approach towards
expanding that network, the Commission is currently examining how to achieve that aim as effectively as
possible. In the medium term, the part played by traffic management systems with regard to safety could
be given greater recognition. These include traffic monitoring and accident-detection systems, and also the
harmonisation of signs and of railway telecommunication systems. In the longer term expansion of the
network should be based on a detailed assessment of network quality, and more particularly of its safety
level.

The Community-funded projects have already been subjected to a cost/benefit study which, in general
terms, includes safety. However, those projects only cover a limited number of network sections.

The Commission thus intends to encourage a broader approach in its communication on road safety (1).
For that purpose decisions on investment in transport infrastructure should take account of the costs and
benefits to society of the various options in terms of road safety.

(1) COM(97) 131 final.