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C 261 E/186 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.9.


migrants to meet skills shortages which cannot be met, in the short term at least, from the existing labour
force. This is in line with the Commission’s proposals for developing a global migration policy which are
described in more detail in its Communication on a Community Immigration Policy (2). This Communica-
tion was presented at the same time as a separate Communication setting out different options for a
common asylum procedure and a uniform status for those granted asylum, with the objective of
establishing a common European asylum system in the long term (3). With these Communications, the
Commission has launched a debate on the way to develop the common policy in these areas, which was
agreed at the European Council in Tampere in October 1999.

S’agissant de l’harmonisation du droit d’asile entre les Etats membres à court terme, la Commission rappelle
que sur la base du traité CE, des conclusions de Tampere d’octobre 1999 et du tableau de bord sur les
progrès réalisés pour la mise en oeuvre de l’Espace de Liberté, Sécurité et Justice, elle a fait des propositions
législatives sur Eurodac (empreintes digitales des demandeurs d’asile, Règlement adopté en décembre
2000) (4), un Fonds européen pour les Réfugiés (décision adoptée en septembre 2000) (5), sur la protection
temporaire en cas d’afflux massif de personnes déplacées (proposition de directive du 24 mai 2000) (6), sur
les normes minimales concernant la procédure d’octroi et de retrait du statut de réfugié dans les Etats
membres (proposition de directive du 20 septembre 2000) (7). La Commission fera dans les tous prochains
mois et avant la fin 2001 des propositions législatives sur les conditions d’accueil des demandeurs d’asile,
la responsabilité de l’examen des demandes d’asile (instrument successeur à la Convention de Dublin), sur
le rapprochement des règles sur la reconnaissance et le contenu du statut de réfugié ainsi que sur des
formes de protection subsidiaires offrant un statut approprié à toute personne nécessitant une telle

(1) COM(2000) 854 final.

(2) COM(2000) 757.
(3) COM(2000) 755.
(4) OJ L 316, 15.12.2000.
(5) OJ L 252, 6.10.2000.
(6) OJ C 311 E, 31.10.2000.
(7) COM(2000) 578 final.

(2001/C 261 E/211) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0727/01

by Jaime Valdivielso de Cué (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(6 March 2001)

Subject: Regional policy

What European Union aid and subsidies are scheduled to be granted to the Autonomous Community of
the Basque Country from 2000 to 2006 inclusive, under the structural funds (Objective 1, Objective 2 and
Objective 3) and the Cohesion Fund?

What is the breakdown for the allocation of this funding by province (Alava, Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya) for
the period in question?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(26 April 2001)

During the 2000-2006 programming period, the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (Spain)
is not eligible under Objective 1 of the Structural Funds.

Where Objective 2 is concerned, the single programming document (SPD) for the Basque Country provides
for assistance of € 558 855 222 from the European Regional Development Fund and € 28 781 155 from
the European Social Fund. These amounts cannot be broken down between the three Basque provinces of
Alava, Guipúzcoa and Biscay at present since, according to the provisions of the programming supple-
ment, the choice of projects to be part-financed under this SPD is the responsibility of the managing
18.9.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 261 E/187

Where Objective 3 is concerned, the operational programme (OP) for the Basque Country provides for
assistance of € 222 646 434. In addition, likewise under the Objective 3 Community support framework,
five multi-regional OPs will finance activities in the seven autonomous communities outside Objective 1,
providing a total Community contribution of € 1 375 921 635. A regional financial breakdown of multi-
regional assistance will be presented annually in the implementing reports.

The Autonomous Community of the Basque Country is also eligible for assistance under the Financial
Instrument for Fisheries Guidance. The SPD concerned covers all autonomous communities outside
Objective 1 and provides for total Community assistance of € 207 500 000. According to the initial
indicative breakdown carried out by Spain, assistance of € 106 220 000 has been earmarked for the Basque

As regards the Cohesion Fund, it is not possible at this stage to quantify the amount which will be
allocated to the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country during the 2000-2006 programming
period or to break down this amount by province. At this stage, under Council Regulation (EC) No 1264/
1999 of 21 June 1999 amending Regulation (EC) No 1164/94 establishing a Cohesion Fund, (1) the total
resources to be committed under this Fund during the period in question amounts to approximately € 18
billion for all four eligible countries and the indicative allocation for Spain is 61 % to 63,5 % of this
amount. It should be borne in mind that the national authorities are responsible for the initial choice of
projects to be submitted under the Cohesion Fund and that these projects are presented to the Commission
at intervals throughout the programming period.

(1) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999.

(2001/C 261 E/212) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0731/01

by Gianfranco Dell’Alba (TDI) to the Commission

(7 March 2001)

Subject: Attitude of the Italian National Agency for Civil Aviation (ENAC) towards the Air Sicilia company

The ENAC has, without prior notice and by means of a press release (!), announced the suspension of Air
Sicilia’s airworthiness certificate and operating licence, as from 20 February 2001. It has accused the airline
of ‘various instances of failure to apply airworthiness standards on the Boeing 737 aircraft used by the

There are apparently two reasons for such a drastic measure: the appointment of a technical director, who,
according to the ENAC, does not meet the required standards, and the fact that technical staff are
employed by the G.A.I. company (which is part of the Air Sicilia group and belongs exclusively to the
same shareholders) and not by Air Sicilia which has been providing regular links at national level for six
years now.

Following complaints from the company’s managing director and employees, who took the case to the
Sicilian regional administrative court, the Prefect of Catania announced, with the government’s authority,
that sales of tickets could resume and authorised Air Sicilia to resume flights, albeit provisionally using
other aircraft.

Knowing that, could the Commission answer the following:

 Does the Commission not consider that, if the Ministry of Transport rapidly annuls the measure taken
against Air Sicilia, the company should be awarded appropriate damages?

 Is it aware of any previous instances of airline companies having their flight licences suspended for
similar reasons? If so, what companies?

 Is the Commission prepared to conduct an inquiry into these events, and in particular the action taken
by the ENAC and any abuse of power it may have committed with a view to favouring other airline
companies which have recently entered the market, in the light of European rules on competition and