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26.1.

2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/33

For example, the Objective 2 programmes can finance the rebuilding of infrastructure, production plant
and equipment (areas zoned for economic and craft-trade activities, productive investments, aid to
enterprises), training, and the restoration of the historical and cultural heritage with a view to tourism.
Programming of operations under the future Objective 2 programme will be the responsibility of the
regional authorities. All Structural Fund assistance is provided by way of part-financing of national
expenditure.

The goal of the Life programme is to finance demonstration projects in the field of environmental
protection, in conjunction with the Community priorities defined in that area. The projects are submitted
each year and are assessed mainly on the basis of their innovative and demonstrative nature. The LIFE
programme is thus not intended to provide structural financial assistance in disaster zones.

Under the Community action programme in the field of civil protection the Commission is ready to trigger
its information exchange network between the Member States should the French authorities responsible for
civil protection so request.

Lastly, the reform of the common agricultural policy means that rural development measures throughout
the Community’s rural areas can for the first time be part-financed by the Guarantee Section of the
European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) and France will be the main beneficiary.
Measures eligible under this policy include the rebuilding of agricultural and forestry production potential
damaged by natural disasters and the introduction of suitable prevention instruments.

(2001/C 26 E/046) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0315/00
by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(11 February 2000)

Subject: Greek Ministry of Agriculture programme for withdrawal of fishing vessels

Decision No 274407/8-2-99 by the Greek Ministry of Agriculture approves financial aid for a programme
for the definitive withdrawal of fishing vessels which will be co-funded by the Community and Greece
(75 % from the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance and 25 % from the Ministry of Agriculture).
However, the Greek State is now withholding 25 % of the overall sum of aid.

Will the Commission say whether it is aware of this? Given that this certainly invalidates in practice the
principle of additionality which is the basic principle for the implementation of the programmes funded
under the Community Support Framework, what measures does it intend to take, should the Greek
Government continue to act in this way?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(20 March 2000)

Vessel-scrapping is governed by Council Regulation (EC) No 2468/98 of 3 November 1998 laying down
the criteria and arrangements regarding Community structural assistance in the fisheries and aquaculture
sector and the processing and marketing of its products. The Regulation contains scales detailing the
maximum amounts of state aid payable (based on gross registered tonnage  gross tonnage (GRT  GT)
and vessel age) and the rates of financial assistance. The Community contribution must not be less than
50 % or more than 75 % of the aid granted.

When implementing vessel-scrapping schemes, the Greek Ministry of Agriculture fixes the payable
premiums within the limits stipulated by Community legislation, while maintaining the 75 % Community/
25 % Member State split.
C 26 E/34 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.2001

In the case at issue, public funds are being managed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 2468/98
because  even if the premiums paid remain below the limits set by Community legislation  Greece pays
its 25 % share.

(2001/C 26 E/047) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0325/00
by Carmen Fraga Estévez (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(11 February 2000)

Subject: Lists of vessels authorised to fish using drift nets

In its reply of 5 January 2000 to Question P-2481/99 (1)on the Commission’s interpretation of compliance
with Regulation (EEC) No 1239/98 (2) the point is made that ‘when checks are carried out to ensure that
the 60 % figure is being adhered to (…), all the vessels which used drift nets during the reference period
specified in the above regulation must be taken into consideration’.

Since the Commission is convinced that this is the way in which the regulation is to be interpreted
(the purpose thereof being to ensure that drift-net fishing is gradually abandoned), would the Commission
not agree that:

 the consequence of its interpretation is that the same vessels are being counted as many as three times
(once for each year of the 1995-1997 reference period) when the basic listing of the vessels which
have fished with drift nets is drawn up with a view to achieving a 40 % reduction in 1998?

 in order to dispel such doubts once and for all, can the Commission (as requested by means of
Written Question E-1561/99 (3) to which no reply has been received) supply a list of the vessels
authorised to fish using drift nets in 1995, 1996 and 1997 and a list of the vessels authorised to fish
using drift nets in 1998 and 1999, following the entry into force of the regulation in question?

(1) OJ C 219 E, 1.8.2000, p. 173.
(2) OJ L 171, 17.6.1998, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 170 E, 20.6.2000, p. 34.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(16 March 2000)

Under Council Regulation (EC) No 1239/98 of 8 June 1998 amending Regulation (EC) No 894/97 laying
down certain technical measures for the conservation of fishery resources, a total ban on using drift-nets to
catch certain (in particular highly migratory) species will enter into force on 1 January 2002. In 1998
Member States were required to reduce their authorised drift-net fleets to 60 % of the vessels which used
such gear during the 1995-1997 reference period. Since then, they have been required to submit a list of
authorised vessels each year.

The Council thus made provision for phasing out drift-net fishing in two stages after the 1995-1997
reference period, reducing the fleet by 40 % from 1998 and abolishing it completely by the 2002 deadline.
In order to counter the socio-economic effects of abolition, the Council authorised each Member State to
draw up a conversion plan.

The 1998 limit is calculated on the basis of Member States’ named vessel lists for each of the three
reference years. Because the three annual lists for each Member State are compared in order to determine
the number of reference vessels subject to the 40 % reduction, the same vessel cannot be taken into
account more than once.

Each Member State’s list of authorised vessels for 1998 is based on this method. As has been stressed
several times in reply to the Honourable Member’s written questions, the Commission has no proof that
Member States are failing to comply with Regulation (EC) No 1239/98.