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C 374 E/208 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 28.12.


Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(17 May 2000)

Articles 10 and 11 of Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to
encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (1) (Framework Directive) lay down
rules on information, consultation and balanced participation of workers and/or their representatives in the
field of safety and health at work in accordance with national laws and/practices.

In accordance with Article 4 of Directive 89/391/EEC, it is the responsibility of the Member States to
ensure adequate controls and supervision of the national provisions implementing this Directive.

Consequently, any possible infringements of the national provisions implementing the Directive must be
brought to the attention of the relevant Spanish authorities, i.e. the labour and social security inspectorate,
which must organise and carry out the necessary inspections and checks to ensure proper application of
these provisions.

Should the Commission receive specific information suggesting that the Spanish authorities have failed to
monitor the application of the national provisions implementing Directive 89/391/EEC, it will take the
necessary action.

(1) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989.

(2000/C 374 E/246) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1176/00
by Richard Corbett (PSE) to the Commission

(12 April 2000)

Subject: Nationality of key officials dealing with postal service liberalisation

Can the Commission confirm that:

 the new director in charge of postal services in the internal market is Dutch;

 the Commissioner’s special adviser for postal affairs is Dutch;

 the chef de Cabinet of the Commissioner responsible for postal services liberalisation is Dutch;

 the responsible Commissioner is Dutch;

 the Dutch post office is the post office in Europe that most actively supports full liberalisation?

Does the Commission agree that public perceptions of this situation could undermine the credibility of its
internal reform and in particular the ‘de-flagging’ of posts and policy sectors?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(15 May 2000)

The answer to the Honourable Member’s questions is yes. In addition to this, it is worth mentioning that
out of the team of six dealing with postal issues in the Directorate general for the internal market, two are
French, one is German, one is British, one is Portuguese and the head of unit is Spanish. Furthermore, the
deputy director general of the Directorate general for the internal market is Austrian and the director
general British. Moreover, it should be noted that the Commission is in contact with all national regulators
and with postal operators in various Member States.
28.12.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 374 E/209

Finally as regards the policy of de-flagging of posts, the answer given above tends to show that there is no
particular problem in this respect.

(2000/C 374 E/247) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1190/00
by Timothy Kirkhope (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(10 April 2000)

Subject: European Social Funds

Under the current system of payment for the European Social Fund (ESF), voluntary and community sector
projects receive a 50 % advance payment, followed by a further 30 % advance payment (when half of the
first advance has been spent). The remaining 20 % is paid after submission of the final claim.

The new system proposed by the Department for Education and Employment will see an advance payment
of only 10 % and then projects will have to submit claims in arrears (probably quarterly) to receive further
payment. A balance of 20 % will still be withheld for remittance following the final claim.

Can the Commission clarify if it has the right and authority to intervene in the payment of European
Social Funds at a national level if the Commission believes the funds are not being allocated in the most
effective manner so as to benefit those organisations who deserve and require this funding to survive. It is
estimated that at least 90-95 % of the organisations that at present receive ESF will, under the new system
of payments, be closed due to lack of funds to support their programmes.

Would it be possible for the Commission to support the alternative payment system that is being put
forward by the organisations involved?

They are proposing the ‘Scottish Model’ whereby:

 Quarter 1: 30 % in advance;

 Quarter 2: 25 % in advance, subject to satisfactory Quarter 1 returns;

 Quarter 3: 25 % in advance, subject to satisfactory Quarter 2 returns;

 Quarter 4: 20 % final payment in arrears, subject to satisfactory audit of all Quarters.

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(3 May 2000)

The responsibility for fixing the detailed rules for the implementation of the European social fund (ESF)
within a Member State lies with the managing authority of the programme. The programming documents
adopted by the Commission will not contain information on, for example, the amounts to be paid by way
of advances to project organisers. In these circumstances, the Commission cannot intervene in this matter.

However, the Department for Education and Employment has recently decided, following discussions
within the United Kingdom, to increase the advance payment from 10 % to 30 % of the first year costs of
the project for all organisations. The Commission welcomed this decision.