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C 235 E/64 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.8.

2001

The first exhibition on European integration and the history of money up to the euro was organised in
1997. The second, in Valladolid, was designed generally to provide information on the institutions.

Six sections presented the following themes:

 practical aspects of the euro,

 presentation of the new currency and its political and economic advantages in the European
integration process,

 history of European integration, the Treaty of Rome up to economic and monetary union (EMU),

 information on the Member States of the European Union,

 integration of Spain into the Union and EMU,

 euro coins and notes.

By way of illustration (historical background, developments in the Member States, Treaties, etc.), the Prime
Ministers of democratic Spain who played a part in European integration (Adolfo Suarez, Leopoldo Calvo
Sotelo, Felipe Gonzalez and José Maria Aznar) were presented.

Some features of the exhibitions were valid for all the Member States, but it was for the Member State
presenting the exhibition to ensure that they were adapted to the special nature of the host Member State
in the interests of subsidiarity and decentralisation.

The amount which was invested in these exhibitions totalled € 1 011 595, of which 4 %, i.e. € 40 500,
constituted aid from the Community budget.

(2001/C 235 E/069) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4091/00


by Salvador Garriga Polledo (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(10 January 2001)

Subject: Promotion of research and technology in the EU

What many EU companies desire most is to progress in the fields of research and technology, although
most of them would acknowledge that day-to-day business and the urgent need to satisfy immediate
requirements cause them to delay projects in such areas.

Furthermore, ignorance regarding how to develop a project, what projects could be tackled with EU aid,
where to obtain relevant information and what other logistical facilities are available discourages them
from undertaking more extensive research within their own company and further technological develop-
ment intended to improve their production.

What instruments has the Commission devised in order to provide Community businesses with the basic
information which they need in order to tackle new research projects, and what guides could be of
assistance, particularly in the application of new business technologies?

Answer given by Mr Busquin on behalf of the Commission

(6 March 2001)

There are a number of information services developed by the Commission within its framework
programme for research and technological development (RTD) and designed to provide help with tackling
new research projects. Apart from the dedicated web site, Cordis (www.cordis.lu), and the monthly
publication ‘RTD Info’, which together provide copious information on the Community’s RTD pro-
grammes and on applying for funding, the Commission has set up, with the help of the Member States
and associated States, a network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for each of the Community RTD
programmes. The NCPs are intended to be the first ‘port of call’ for any researcher interested in the
21.8.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 235 E/65

programmes. They provide detailed information and assistance on the RTD programmes and on applying
for funding and, among other tasks, will help with finding other research partners.

The programme on promotion of innovation and encouragement of small and medium sized enterprises
(SME) participation has also put in place a number of initiatives designed to assist companies (particularly
small companies) and other researchers to benefit from Community research funding and to promote the
uptake of technologies. Such measures include economic and technical intelligence for small companies,
measures for technology transfer and exploiting research results, such as the Innovation Relay Centres and
an intellectual property help-desk, and an information and assistance service to facilitate access to sources
of private financing. The Innovation Help Desk of the Commission provides further information regarding
the participation in the innovation programme and there are dedicated help desks for each individual
specific programme.

Innovation Help Desk, e-mail: innovation@cec.eu.int.

Furthermore, when proposals for new projects are invited, open information days are organised in the
main European cities in order to help potential proposers. Workshops and publications are foreseen to
disseminate good practices (that have been identified in successful projects) that help to stimulate
innovation and enterpreneurship.

(2001/C 235 E/070) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4093/00


by Jorge Hernández Mollar (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(10 January 2001)

Subject: Classifying rural tourism facilities by category and quality

Rural tourism is a growth sector. In some EU countries, holiday-making has gradually switched from
hotels in traditional beach and city resorts to the countryside, with its opportunities for activities such as
walking, open-air living in direct contact with nature or relaxing by a warm fireside.

The development of rural tourism has brought to light needs which must be met if this form of tourism,
which is a new dimension within the sector as a whole and which brings such benefits to the rural
economy, is to be protected and promoted.

Could the Commission offer support and assistance in order to enable the rural tourism sector to provide
services for holiday makers such as promotion and information campaigns, the classification of establish-
ments according to their standard and the range of services they offer, and recommendations to help
novices find their way around such a new sector as rural tourism?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(15 February 2001)

Environment-friendly rural tourism is one way of diversifying activity in rural areas and it can also help to
restore their vitality.

The tenth indent of Article 33 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999 of 17 May 1999 on support for
rural development from the European Guidance and Guarantee Fund (1) provides for the part-financing of
measures to encourage tourist activities.