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28.12.

2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 374 E/85

(2000/C 374 E/098) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0471/00
by Mathieu Grosch (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(24 February 2000)

Subject: JOP Programme

1. Is it true that the Commission has decided to end the JOP Programme?

2. If so, was it because of the difficulties encountered? If so, what were these difficulties?

3. Alternatively, was the decision taken because of problems arising from fraud? If so, what was the
extent of the programmes at issue (funds allocated), compared with those which were not?

4. Will the Commission put forward another similar programme or does it take the view that the
thinking behind the existing programme fails to take sufficient account of the specific needs arising in each
particular case?

Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission

(30 March 2000)

Over the years, PHARE has developed into an instrument of support for the preparation of the partner
countries for their accession to the Union. The required priority actions are identified in the accession
partnerships which were approved by the Council on 6 December 1999. This re-orientation of PHARE on
a targeted number of accession priorities has indeed also lead to the decision to reduce the number of
multicountry sectorial programmes. The decision to terminate the Joint venture programme (JOP) should
be seen against this background. No other reasons were at the basis of that decision.

However, support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in candidate countries continues through
the new framework for investment support from PHARE to promote economic and social cohesion in the
candidate countries. These actions are considered annually within the national PHARE programmes for
each candidate country. Also the new pre-accession instrument Special accession programme for agricul-
ture and rural development (Sapard) will, under certain conditions, be in a position to provide investment
support for SMEs in order to meet the acquis requirements in the agricultural and rural development
sector. In addition, PHARE funds are made available in co-operation with international financial institu-
tions for providing loans to SMEs in the partner countries.

(2000/C 374 E/099) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0474/00
by Sebastiano Musumeci (UEN) to the Commission

(24 February 2000)

Subject: Aid for Sicilian fishermen

The Sicilian Region, in accordance with regional Law No 30/1998, has introduced accompanying measures
to offset the effects of temporary terminations or restrictions of fishing activities. This aid has not yet been
released because the Commission has raised objections to which the Sicilian government has responded.

Given that, in the past, the Commission’s opinion on the regional law in question has been favourable, can
the Commission say:

1. What specific reasons lie behind the Commission’s continued refusal to authorise the Sicilian Region
to release the aid to the Sicilian fishermen who have applied for it;

2. When does the Commission intend to take a decision on this matter so that the economic hardship of
hundreds of people working in the fishing industry, who are already suffering as a result of not being
able to work, can be alleviated?
C 374 E/86 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 28.12.2000

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(6 April 2000)

The Commission is examining the compatibility of the measure in question (Law No 30 of 26 October
1998) with Community law.

It will shortly arrive at a decision, taking special note of the additional information sent it by the Italian
authorities on 28 December 1999.

(2000/C 374 E/100) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0481/00
by Alejandro Cercas (PSE) to the Commission

(24 February 2000)

Subject: Funding under the URBAN Community initiative

Could the Commission indicate the amount of funding the Spanish region of Estremedura is likely to
receive under the URBAN Community initiative?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(24 March 2000)

The guidelines for the URBAN Community initiative are expected to be approved by the Commission by
end of March 2000 or early April 2000. Member States are invited to present programme proposals to the
Commission within six months after publication in the Official journal.

The Community initiative will be financed jointly by the Member States from national resources and by
the Community from the European regional development fund (ERDF). The total contribution by ERDF to
URBAN during the programming period 2000-2006 is fixed at € 700 million, at 1999 prices. The
appropriation for each Member State is allocated on the basis of urban population, the number of people
out of work and the number of long-term unemployed in the urban areas involved. The indicative
allocation of the commitment appropriation for Spain amounts to € 106 million. Furthermore, the
guidelines specify an indicative number of urban areas to be covered by the Community initiative, which
is eight in the case of Spain.

The guidelines do not specify any regional allocation of the funds. In accordance with the principle of
subsidiarity, it is the role of Member States to propose the urban areas for support under URBAN,
provided that the proposed programmes comply with the conditions, criteria and priorities set out in the
guidelines and that they remain in the limits of the financial allocation.

(2000/C 374 E/101) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0484/00
by Alejandro Cercas (PSE) to the Commission

(24 February 2000)

Subject: Funding under the Leader+ Community initiative

Could the Commission indicate the amount of funding the Spanish region of Estremedura is likely to
receive under the Leader+ Community initiative?