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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/43

The Commission is currently preparing a report on the fisheries situation in the Community, as foreseen in
Article 14 (2) of Council Regulation (EEC) no 3760/92, of 20 December 1992, establishing a Community
system for fisheries and aquaculture (1) to be issued during the first half of 2001.

This report will allow for the launching of the debate on the CFP after 2002 within the Community
institutions, including a debate on the possible merits and disadvantages of the ideas to which the
Honourable Member refers.

(1) OJ L 389, 31.12.1992.

(2001/C 26 E/056) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0442/00
by Jan Wiersma (PSE) to the Commission

(11 February 2000)

Subject: Domestic fuel oil for opposition towns in Serbia

1. Which towns in Yugoslavia receive oil from the EU?

2. What criteria are applied in the selection process?

3. Why is the municipality of Pancevo not considered eligible?

4. Can the Commission answer these questions rather more rapidly than usual as it is already winter?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(28 March 2000)

The Commission decided on 15 February 2000 to extend the ‘Energy for Democracy’ programme to five
additional cities in Serbia. This was at the unanimous request of the Serbian opposition forces on the basis
of the results of the pilot project. This request was positively considered by the General Affairs Council
(GAC) of 24 January 2000, which invited the Commission to act accordingly.

Five additional cities (Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Novi Sad, Sombor and Subotica) have been added to the
existing programme which covered Nis and Pirot. The programme aims to provide heating oil, both to the
heating plants and to public buildings (schools, kindergartens, hospitals, and public health and administra-
tion buildings). The total amount of heating oil, heavy oil and gas-oil, to be supplied will be around 30 000
tons (it is not possible to give a precise quantity due to fluctuations in the oil derivatives’ price in
international markets).

The list of the municipalities was defined on the basis of discussions between the Serbian opposition forces
and the Union, in the context of the trilateral meetings (opposition forces, Union and United States). In
addition to the two cities under the original programme, the Serbian opposition forces proposed an
additional list of 23 cities, 6 of which were considered priorities due to their difficult social conditions.
Belgrade was removed from that short list, inter alia due to the particular logistical and financial
implications linked to the purchase, transport, delivery and monitoring of supplies in a city of 2,5 million

The Commission has not been able to extend the programme to a larger number of municipalities because
of limited financial and human resources. The Commission appreciates the efforts made by Norway with
its programme ‘Oil for Democracy’ which has supplied heating oil for nurseries and schools in Cacak and
Uzice in complementarity with the programme ‘Energy for Democracy’.

This has been a difficult project to manage, inside and outside Serbia. The Commission has insisted on
elaborate monitoring arrangements to minimise the risk of shipments being diverted. The Commission
launched the project extremely rapidly, with oil trucks arriving at the Serbian border some five weeks after
C 26 E/44 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.2001

the GAC decision last October, and with monitoring arrangements already in place. The Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia’s authorities held up the first convoy at the border for a fortnight; demonstrations ensued in
Nis and Pirot demanding the release of the oil. When the trucks eventually entered Nis they were greeted
by crowds cheering the European Union. The project has, however, been highly successful  reflected in
the decision of the GAC’s decision to extend it, which again the Commission did very rapidly indeed.

(2001/C 26 E/057) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0447/00
by María Sornosa Martínez (PSE) to the Commission

(24 February 2000)

Subject: Damage to the environment of the Peñiscola marshes (Valencia) caused by EU-funded projects

The Peñiscola marshes are currently being affected by building and drainage programmes linked to the
opening of the N-1 road, the reclamation of six kilometres of coastline, the building of a new promenade
and the construction of tourist accommodation and golf courses. All these planned projects are having a
direct impact on the environment of this wetland area which is of great importance to the species of flora
and fauna found there.

Environmental organisations have protested about this situation to the Community institutions without as
yet receiving any response to their complaints, which include the following:

 the Peñiscola marshes are the habitat of indigenous species of fish and birds (some of which are
included as protected species in the directive on the protection of birds) and should thus be declared a
zone of special interest by the Spanish authorities as part of the Nature 2000 network;

 the range of projects approved by the Spanish authorities have not been accompanied by an
environmental impact statement (since they were considered individually as minor works not affecting
the environment and it was not thought necessary to draw up a study of their total overall impact;

 85 % of the cost of the coastal reclamation project is being funded by the Community:

 the zone concerned continues to be classified as ‘eligible for development’, despite the various
statements by the authorities pledging to classify it as a protected wetland area.

In the light of the above considerations and bearing in mind that the Commission already has all the
relevant documentation on the matter provided by the organisations which lodged the complaint, does the
Commission not consider it contradictory that on the one hand Community legislation should seek to
protect a natural area inhabited by species included under the directive on birds, while on the other hand
Community funds are being used to carry out works which threaten the environment of this same area?

Will the Commission send a delegation to the marshes to determine whether the impact of these projects
is harmful to the environment as claimed by the environmental organisations?

Does it consider that the Spanish authorities may have infringed Community legislation by not requiring
the compulsory environmental impact assessment to be carried out for these projects, because it
considered them separately rather than as a whole?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(7 April 2000)

Firstly, it should be noted that the ‘Marjal de Peñiscola’ area to which the Honourable Member refers has
not been classified by the Spanish authorities as a special protection area for birds under Article 4 of
Council Directive 79/409/EEC (1) of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds. Neither has it been