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C 26 E/48 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.


During the debate, Commissioner Barnier did, however undertake to consider reinstating the budget line
for emergency aid deleted two years ago.

Is the Commission prepared to look beyond the existing framework of the Structural Funds and to
examine the 2000 budget of the Commission for mobilisable reserves for immediate emergency aid, for
instance from the LIFE and ECHO programmes, and possibly to reinstate a budget line for disaster aid
within the European Union for 2001?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(11 April 2000)

With regard to the Structural Funds, the Honourable Member is requested to refer to the answers given by
the Commission to written questions 0024/00 from Ms Patrie, 0159/00 from Mr Lang and 0307/00 from
Mrs Thomas-Mauro, and to oral question H-0008/00 from Ms Patrie.

There are no provisions in the LIFE Regulation, which is currently under review, for the allocation of a
portion of its funding to emergency measures, without a call for projects procedure being initiated. We
cannot, therefore, envisage the funding, under the LIFE programme, of any general measures to repair
environmental damage caused by the natural disasters which struck France, Germany and Austria
in December 1999. We do not, however, rule out the possibility that proposals for new projects under
LIFE-Nature or LIFE-Environment could, while meeting the LIFE criteria, also serve to repair the damage to
the environment. Any application meeting this profile will be examined (on a case by case basis) under the
project monitoring procedures or the tendering procedure for LIFE.

Article 1 of the Regulation governing the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) specifies that: ‘The Commu-
nity’s humanitarian aid shall comprise assistance, relief and protection operations on a non-discriminatory
basis to help people in third countries, particularly the most vulnerable among them, and as a priority
those in developing countries…’ (1). It cannot, therefore, provide assistance in respect of the severe damage
caused by natural disasters in the Member States in December 1999.

Since there are provisions for a number of different aid schemes in the Structural Funds Regulations, the
Commission currently has no plans to reinstate a specific budget heading for emergency disaster aid within
the Community.

(1) Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid. OJ L 163, 2.7.1996.

(2001/C 26 E/061) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0479/00
by Carlos Ripoll y Martínez de Bedoya (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(24 February 2000)

Subject: Objective 2 for the Balearic Islands

The municipality of Consell (on Majorca, Balearic Islands) submitted to the Balearic Islands regional
government a project for an extension to the town’s school to promote adult education and vocational
training, under Objective 2.

Mr Rechach, departmental secretary-general for documentation in the Ministry for Economic Affairs of the
government of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands, informed the mayor that the European
Commission had rejected the project because it was located at the school.

Has any proposal under Objective 2 been received from Consell in connection with the above project?

Has the European Commission taken a formal decision to reject the project?

If so, on what grounds was the decision based?
26.1.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/49

Has the Commission held any meetings with the government of the autonomous community of the
Balearic Islands?

If so, what information was given to the Balearic Islands regional government on Objective 2?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission
(7 April 2000)

At the technical meetings prior to the meeting of the Monitoring Committee on 10 December 1999
concerning the Objective 2 operational programme for the Balearic Islands for the 1997-1999 program-
ming period, the representatives of the regional administration submitted to the Commission a first
provisional list of projects for possible part-financing under measure 5.2 ‘Training and vocational
development centres’ of that programme. That list included a project for the municipality of Consell.

At those technical meetings, all the proposed projects, including that concerning Consell, were analysed
from all points of view (objectives, estimated costs and monitoring indicators, content and eligibility of
expenditure, financial and physical identification of the projects not directly subject to local government
administrations, completion of national commitments before 31 December 1999, compliance with
procedures for the award of contracts). The final list of projects to be submitted by the regional
administration had to be available no later than the day of the meeting of the Monitoring Committee.

At the meeting of the Monitoring Committee on 10 December, the regional administration submitted a list
of eleven projects, which the Committee approved. It includes assistance to the municipalities of Alaró,
Binissalem, Búger, Campanet (2), Inca (3), Lloseta, Santa Maria and Selva. The total cost envisaged amounts
to € 6,24 million, for which the European Regional Development Fund will provide part-finance of 50 %.

Within the framework of the partnership, the Commission wishes to stress the clarity of the procedure and
the level of transparency adopted by the regional administration in drawing up this programme.

(2001/C 26 E/062) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0482/00
by Alejandro Cercas (PSE) to the Commission
(24 February 2000)

Subject: Funding under the Interreg Community initiative

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

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission
(24 March 2000)

The guidelines for the Interreg 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 of the publication in the Official journal.

The Community initiative will be financed jointly by the Member States and the Community through the
European regional development fund (ERDF). The total contribution by the ERDF to Interreg during the
programming period 2000-2006 is fixed at € 4 875 million, at 1999 prices. The indicative allocation of
the commitment appropriation for Spain is € 900 million. The guidelines do not specify any regional
allocation of the funds.

As the Commission, when approving the programme or programmes for e.g. the Spanish-Portuguese
border, grants a single contribution from the ERDF per programme without financial breakdown by
Member State, the amount allocated from the Interreg Community Initiative for the Extremadura region in
Spain can not be indicated even then.