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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 350 E/99

the campaign for a European Car-Free Day on 22 September 2001, to which the European Commission
will contribute € 1 million. It is predicted that this year the event will have a larger impact, since so far
two new countries, Holland and Hungary, have decided to join the initiative. It is also possible that
countries outside the Union may be called on to take part.

Such initiatives are one part of the effort that the EU must make to combat the effects of climate change,
but they are far from sufficient. In view of this, what other kinds of initiatives does the Commission intend
to take to halt the deterioration of the environment towards which, at the moment, we seem to be on an
almost irreversible course? Is the Commission planning other measures designed to promote a climate
favourable to public transport or to other less polluting means of transport?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(21 June 2001)

The over-arching principle for action in this respect is that of integrating the environment into the sectoral
policies with the aim of achieving sustainable development (Article 6 of the Amsterdam Treaty). In the
transport sector, this process is being backed up by the joint Transport and Environment Expert Group
which is jointly chaired by the two Directorates-General for Transport and Energy, and for Environment.
The expert group has produced an analysis and recommendations for action in connection with the
integration strategy of the Council (Transport). Its latest report is available on the Internet (1).

Concerning actions on modal shift towards public transport and other less damaging modes of transport,
one has to distinguish between urban and inter-urban transport. With regard to the latter, the recent
adoption of the ‘railway package’ (2) should help to achieve the stated Commission goal of revitalising the
railways. The Commission is at an advanced stage of preparing a White Paper on the Common Transport
Policy in which further action in this area will be laid out. Concerning urban transport, further to the
awareness-raising activities in connection with the Car-Free Day, the Commission’s competences are
limited by subsidiarity. Actions include the exchange of best practice on urban transport (3) and the
financing of demonstration projects through the City-vitality-Sustainability (Civitas) initiative (4). The
Commission’s thinking on urban transport will be further developed through a forthcoming communi-
cation in the field of alternative fuels including a proposal for a directive establishing a requirement to use
a certain percentage of bio-fuels and a forthcoming Communication on Clean Urban Transport that is
foreseen for the end of 2001.

(2) OJ L 75, 15.3.2001.

(2001/C 350 E/108) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1245/01

by Francesco Turchi (UEN) to the Commission

(26 April 2001)

Subject: Pilot project to combat child exploitation

In connection with the 2001 budget the European Parliament has voted in favour of allocating 3 million
euros to finance, during its first year of operation, a pilot project to combat child exploitation (heading
B5-804), in particular by financing an information campaign to combat child exploitation and, in
particular, paedophilia in the 15 Member States.

Would the Commission say what has been done so far and what is to be done in the future in order to
implement the above project, and what is the intended timetable?
C 350 E/100 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 11.12.2001

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(22 June 2001)

During the first and second readings of this budget line in Parliament, the Commission pointed out that
this initiative overlapped with actions already pursued under the existing line B5-802, covered by the
existing legal base of the Daphne programme. This programme was adopted under co-decision. The
financial framework thus constitutes, according to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999, the
primary reference for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure. The latter
undertakes not to depart from the amount for such actions ‘unless new, objective long-term circumstances
arise for which explicit reasons are given, with account being taken of the results obtained from
implementing the programme.’

Consistent with this, the Commission has carefully examined how best to meet the objectives underlying
the budget line proposed while at the same time avoiding duplication and taking appropriate account of
the human resources available to it for this purpose. It has decided to raise the profile of this year’s
Daphne call for proposals by including among the priorities the topics of paedophilia and child sexual
abuses and exploitation. This will allow the Commission to treat proposals received under these headings
in the same way and in parallel to the Daphne ones. By doing so, it will allow the Commission to use
money from that budget line before the end of 2001.

The ultimate date for receipt of proposals was 28 May 2001. The evaluation of the proposals takes place
during the summer and the accepted projects should be able to start around November-December 2001.

(2001/C 350 E/109) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1246/01

by Elly Plooij-van Gorsel (ELDR) to the Commission

(26 April 2001)

Subject: Support for town twinning projects

In connection with the call for proposals DG EAC NO 00/75  Support for actions to promote town-
twinning 2001 (1) (2000/C/320/07) I have received a complaint on the treatment of project No 01/153,
first tranche 2001.

This project was not eligible for support as it did not meet the registration conditions set out in the call for
proposals. These registration conditions were changed on 1 January 2001. The applicants have assured
both myself and the Commission that they were not informed of this change.

1. Does the Commission agree with me that, aside from the question of who was responsible for the
failure to inform the applicants, it is a principle of proper administration that persons submitting projects
should be given the opportunity of correcting errors before the final decision on the application is made?
If so, why did that not happen in this case?

2. How many project applications in connection with the above-mentioned call for proposals did not
meet the registration conditions?

(1) OJ C 320, 9.11.2000, p. 7.

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2001)

The new conditions governing the award procedure to support town-twinning measures were adopted in
October 2000, following consultation of the national federations representing the twinning movement.
These conditions, which were inspired by the principles governing the award of subsidies for other
Community actions, were introduced to make the system more transparent and effective.