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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 113 E/51

The President of the Piedmont region wrote to me on 11 May 2000 informing me that the above proposal
had not yet had any practical consequences, and that this was seriously affecting the efforts being made by
the region to establish cooperation networks with those countries.

Does the Council agree that the present situation could call into question the entire process which is to
lead to Bulgaria and Romania’s accession to the Union?

Does the Council not consider it necessary to act on the Commission’s proposal concerning visas for
Bulgarian and Romanian citizens?

What measures will the Council adopt to facilitate the movement of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens in
the European Union?


(16 November 2000)

On 26 January 2000 the Commission submitted to the Council, on the basis of Article 62(2)(b)(i) of the
TEC, a proposal for a Regulation listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas
when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement. Bulgaria
and Romania are amongst the third countries whose nationals the Commission proposes to exempt. The
proposal is currently under discussion in the Council.

The European Parliament was consulted by letter dated 16 March 2000 and delivered its Opinion on
5 July 2000. In the light of that Opinion, the Commission announced that it would be submitting an
amended proposal for a Regulation to the Council. The Council has just received this proposal.

(2001/C 113 E/047) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1927/00

by Fernando Fernández Martín (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(16 June 2000)

Subject: Fight against poverty in the developing world

Given the diverse criteria employed by the various international bodies involved in the fight against
poverty in the developing countries and the need to establish uniform criteria in order to make combating
poverty more effective, will the Commission say what it understands by the term ‘poverty’ and what
criteria it uses to measure it, so as to enable an assessment to be made of the implementation of
Community programmes?

Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(27 July 2000)

The definition of poverty has evolved significantly over the years. The Commission has adopted a broad
definition of poverty in line with the international debate. Poverty cannot be defined merely as the lack of
income or the level of consumption; it includes deprivation of basic capabilities and encompasses non-
monetary factors, like lack of access to social services and to all forms of capital. Data collected at
household level, for example, do not reveal inequality within the household. The Commission, therefore,
does not see the ‘poverty line’ of USD 1 a day as the only measure of poverty.

It also involves social and political participation, especially for women. On the government side, it involves
political responsibility, accountability, good governance and democracy. Reducing poverty therefore
implies addressing political, economic, social, environmental and institutional dimensions.
C 113 E/52 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.4.2001

All these elements are present, for example, in the newly concluded EU-ACP partnership agreement, in a
coherent framework.

The implementation of the Community strategy will be made, taking into account these elements, in terms
of resources allocated to each developing country, of targeting programmes on the poorest groups of
population, and of mainstreaming poverty concerns into the different programmes.

The poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs) of the World Bank will also give the Community  with the
Member States  the opportunity to focus its programmes on poverty reduction. Several participatory
poverty assessments have already been launched by the Community and other donors.

This will also provide an effective tool for improving complementarity between donors. Such comple-
mentarity should lead, at the level of each beneficiary country, to a division of tasks between the
multilateral and bilateral donors. It would facilitate an accelerated move towards sector-wide approaches.

Intermediary indicators, based on the development assistance committee (DAC) international objectives,
will be determined, country by country, with the main objectives of access to basic social services, enabling
men and women to achieve sustainable livelihoods, promoting social protection and supporting social

An estimate of the impact of Community aid on poverty is not possible for the time being. The
Commission is launching with Eurostat a programme in a few countries directed at improving poverty
measurements on the basis of a study already done by the Commission.

Indicators commonly used by all donors, for measurement in a given period of time and for a given
country, are, for example, for health: attendance rates at health centres, essential basic vaccination rates,
level of user satisfaction, costs of basic services; and for education: gross enrolment rates for boys and girls,
success rates for boys and girls at primary school leaving examination, number of books per pupil, and
cost of schooling.

(2001/C 113 E/048) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1928/00

by Fernando Fernández Martín (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(16 June 2000)

Subject: Fight against poverty in the developing world

What are the broad aims of the Community programmes to combat poverty in the developing countries?

Will the Commission give specific examples of the results obtained by these programmes?

Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(26 July 2000)

1. The Commission approach to poverty reduction was first set out in the communication of 1993, and
this was reviewed in a working paper presented to Council in May 1998. The Commission mainly
approached poverty reduction through support to basic social services, including through the use of
counterpart funds arising from structural adjustment support. A recent estimate is that spending on these
areas for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries is about 20 %, in line with the commitment of
Copenhagen in 1995. However, it is nessary to look further at this strategy, and focus on those issues that
have most effect on poverty reduction.