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C 374 E/82 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 28.12.


What will be the guidelines and requirements governing the eligibility of projects for Community funding?

When can the selected projects hope to receive the Community funding allocated to them?

(2000/C 374 E/096) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0478/00
by Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(24 February 2000)

Subject: Preparation by the European Commission of the proposed legal basis for the Archipelago action
programme on the minority and regional languages of the EU

The European Commission is drawing up a legislative proposal to provide a legal basis (and, consequently,
funding from the Community budget) for a Community action programme for the protection and
promotion of the minority and regional languages of the European Community. The European Union
has also set aside funding from the 2000 budget for a series of preparatory initiatives to promote minority
and regional languages.

In the light of the above, and given the need to finalise as quickly as possible the legislative procedure for
the adoption of the legal basis, both in order to ensure the continuity and stability of the projects that are
part of the preparatory initiatives for 2000, and to guarantee and enhance the promotion and protection
of the regional and minority languages of the EU over the coming years, will the Commission give details
of the approximate timetable for this legislative procedure and, more specifically, when the proposal will
reach the EP?

Will the Commission give details of the general principles of the proposal and, specifically, the total
amount and duration of Community funding proposed?

On what Treaty provisions is the Commission basing this procedure?

Could the Commission define the concept of a minority or regional language as eligible for funding under
the forthcoming action programme?

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-0465/00 and E-0478/00
given by Ms Reding on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2000)

Budget heading B3-1000, entitled ‘Cooperation in the fields of education and of youth policy’ covers a
total sum of € 4,5 million. This amount is intended, amongst other things, ‘to support measures to
promote and safeguard the regional and minority languages and cultures of the Community’. The
Commission has earmarked a total of € 2,5 million for this purpose, as was stated in the preliminary
draft budget presented to the Council and the Parliament.

To this end, the Commission plans to publish a call for proposals as soon as possible, the text of which it
is currently finalising. All the criteria for the presentation and selection of the proposals will be stated in
the call. The Honourable Member will be notified directly as soon as the full picture becomes clear.

The Commission is also examining the case for a specific study on the needs of the Union’s linguistic
minorities that would complement the information already available on this subject.
28.12.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 374 E/83

The development of measures to promote and safeguard regional and minority languages over the coming
years will take into account the implementation of these actions and the European Year of Languages in
2001. The exact content of these measures will be decided at the appropriate time.

The definition of regional and minority languages is based on Article 1 of the Council of Europe’s
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages ‘regional or minority languages’ means languages
that are traditionally used within a given territory of a State by nationals of that State who form a group
numerically smaller than the rest of the State’s population; and different from the official language(s) of
that State; it does not include either dialects of the official language(s) of the State or the languages of

(2000/C 374 E/097) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0468/00
by Isabelle Caullery (UEN) to the Commission

(24 February 2000)

Subject: European Union employment policy

Can the Commission give a comprehensive list of the instruments and resources at the disposal of the
European Union to combat the veritable scourge of unemployment in its Member States?

Can it give initial statistical estimates for each of the Member States concerning the effectiveness of its
measures since 1994 in creating and safeguarding jobs?

Can it also say what are the main decisions which have been taken following the Luxembourg Summit,
which was largely devoted to the unemployment situation in the European Union, and what have been to
date the initial effects on employment figures?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2000)

In order to combat unemployment, it was necessary to adopt a comprehensive strategy for coordinating
economic policies, structural reforms and the labour market, to follow on from the informal convergence
strategy launched by the European Council in Essen in 1994 and the Commission’s White Paper on
‘Growth, Competitiveness and Employment’ of 1993 (1).

On the labour market, the main instrument used to combat unemployment is the implementation of the
Title on employment provided for in the EC Treaty (Articles 125 to 130). It fixes a high level of
employment as a target to be considered by Community policies (Article 127) and commits the Member
States to coordinate their employment policies on the basis of common objectives, including quantified
objectives (Article 128). It sets up the institutional mechanism for the monitoring and multilateral
evaluation of the success or failure of the policies concerned.

The Structural Funds, in the new programming (2000-2006), are the Community’s key instrument for
providing assistance in the implementation of the employment strategy. The European Social Fund (ESF),
in particular, aims to modernise and ensure the balanced operation of the labour markets, thus indirectly
to create jobs. The territorial dimension to employment policies, highlighted in the employment guidelines
for the year 2000, is, moreover, becoming increasingly important to all the Structural Funds. This
dimension is recognised in the Commission’s approach to preparing and implementing the Structural
Funds’ programming for 2000-2006. Particular emphasis has been placed on spreading territorial employ-
ment pacts in the new operational programmes (2).

Estimates of the effects of the measures

The employment strategy cannot be properly evaluated until the end of the five-year period decided upon
in 1997. The joint reports on employment for 1998 and 1999 already show examples of good practice in
the implementation of the guidelines, in some cases with supporting figures on the impact in terms of the