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C 350 E/220 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 11.12.


(2001/C 350 E/246) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1759/01

by Brian Simpson (PSE) to the Commission

(15 June 2001)

Subject: Supplying lights as standard on new cycles

Will the Commission consider bringing forward legislation to make the fitting of front and rear lights on
cycles compulsory at the time of manufacture in order to prevent accidents?

Answer given b Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(18 July 2001)

The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that no specific Community legislation
covering the type approval of bicycles has yet been introduced. Nor are there any plans to introduce
specific legislation at Community level.

The design and construction standard and the fitting of lighting and ensuing use requirement of such
lighting fall within the legislative competence of the Member States.

However, the revised Directive on General Product Safety (1) provides for the use of voluntary standards as
a means for ensuring effective and consistent application of the safety requirement. The Commission will
examine, during the period for transposition of the revised directive, whether the issue of fitting lighting
on new cycles could be dealt with by a standardisation mandate.

(1) Will be adopted in September 2001.

(2001/C 350 E/247) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1761/01

by Niall Andrews (UEN) to the Commission

(12 June 2001)

Subject: Ratification of Cotonou Partnership Agreement

On 23 January last year the 15 Member States of the European Union and the 77 countries of the ACP
group of nations, agreed and signed the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in Benin.

This agreement replaces the Lomé Convention and shows an unprecedented commitment on the part of
the EU to developing nations in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions for the next 20 years.

The Commission and Member State governments placed great importance on the signature of this
document almost twelve months ago. Can the Commission confirm that at present more than 13 ACP
States have ratified the Cotonou Agreement but that, as yet, not a single EU country has ratified Cotonou?

When taking into account the importance of this agreement to the ACP, can the Commission inform
members of what practical measures it has taken to speed up the process of ratification and tell us when
they expect the agreement to enter into force?

Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(28 June 2001)

The Cotonou Agreement was signed by most parties on 23 June 2000, although it remained open for
signature until the end of the year during which time a further four parties signed.
11.12.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 350 E/221

The Commission can confirm that according to information received on 19 June from the Secretariat of
the Council and Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States, the institutions with which
the instruments of ratification have to be deposited, 14 ACP States and no Member State had ratified the

The Member of the Commission responsible for development raised the Commission’s concern that
ratification should not be unduly delayed at the meeting of the Development Council on 31 May 2001. He
has written to all Development Ministers asking for an indication of when they expect ratification to be
completed. The Commission will put up a ‘scoreboard’ on its website to keep track of the process and to
encourage progress.

The indications which the Commission has received to date are that one Member State Parliament has
approved the Agreement and that most Member States expect to ratify by the end of 2001. However,
while only two thirds of ACP States’ ratifications are required for the entry into force of the Agreement, on
the European side all Member States must ratify it and the Community must approve it. The agreement is
not, therefore, expected to enter into force until some time in 2002.

(2001/C 350 E/248) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1764/01

by Helena Torres Marques (PSE) to the Commission

(12 June 2001)

Subject: Economic value of voluntary work

Given that much of the work done by NGOs, particularly women’s NGOs, is carried out by volunteers,
why does the Commission attach no economic value to contributions in kind and in the form of voluntary
work as part of Community projects covered by the fifth Community framework programme on equal
opportunities for women and men?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(9 July 2001)

The Honourable Member refers to the fact that voluntary work carried out by members of non-
governmental organisations (NGOs) is not regarded as an eligible cost in projects to be funded by the
Programme relating to the Community framework strategy on gender equality (2001-2005).

The Commission would like to stress that proper management of Community funds implies that it is
possible to monitor the tasks actually carried out and the contributions from third parties to projects
funded by the Community.

However, voluntary work, like contributions in kind generally, cannot be valued precisely. The
Commission has therefore decided, partly at Parliament’s request, to limit contributions in kind in the
projects it subsidises. For this reason, contributions in kind are not accepted as eligible costs in projects
funded by the Commission, unless the decisions relating to these projects provide for a derogation (in this
case Council Decision 2001/51/EC of 20 December 2000 establishing a Programme relating to the
Community framework strategy on gender equality (2001-2005) (1)).

(1) OJ L 17, 19.1.2001.