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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 364 E/177

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(30 July 2001)

The proposed Regulation does not seek to redefine the nomenclature of territorial units for statistical
purposes (NUTS) used in the implementation of cohesion policy but to make good the absence of a legal
basis for the current classification.

The Commission is not intending by means of this regulation to modify the existing maps of Community
regions defined by the current NUTS classification of the Statistical Office of the European Communities.
On the contrary, it is proposing to put in place clearer rules as a regulatory framework for future changes
to the classification.

(2001/C 364 E/196) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1678/01

by Rosa Miguélez Ramos (PSE) to the Commission

(14 June 2001)

Subject: Transport networks and regional planning

There is a clear correlation between the remote status of certain regions in the EU and their level of
economic and social cohesion. There is also a visible concentration of Union resources in favour of the
more developed and accessible regions of Europe.

Are there plans for greater coordination and interrelation of transport networks and regional planning at
European level?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(31 July 2001)

The Commission takes the view that transport policy, and in particular that involving the development of
trans-European transport networks has an important influence on regional planning and can help narrow
the disparities between regions.

The second Report on Economic and Social Cohesion (1) states that major efforts were made during the
1990s to provide the regions where development is lagging behind and the Cohesion countries with levels
of infrastructure more similar to those in other regions and countries, in particular as regards road
infrastructure. This progress was linked to EU structural expenditure with investments in transport
infrastructure being targeted at the less developed regions and the Cohesion countries.

A study undertaken recently by the Commission clearly shows that the ‘transport’ component of the
Cohesion Fund is highly advantageous for the less prosperous regions: 20 % of the least well-off ones
receive 80 % of the funding and 40 % of the best-off ones receive under 1 %.

Emphasis should be placed also on the implementation of major projects such as the Øresund bridge and
tunnel which improves links between the centre of the European Union and the Scandinavian countries
where access is important for ensuring the regional cohesion of the Union even if those countries are not
lagging behind in economic terms.

It is not correct to say, therefore, that Union resources are being concentrated on transport in the more
developed and accessible regions of Europe.

As part of the preparations for a White Paper on the common transport policy and the review of the
guidelines on trans-European transport networks, the Commission, however, has been looking at ways of
strengthening the contribution the trans-European networks policy can make to the more balanced
development of the territory of the Union.
C 364 E/178 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 20.12.2001

This indicates that improved distribution of transport flows on the territory of the Union is a basic
requirement and that steps should be taken therefore to relieve congestion in the central regions and at the
same time include the outlying regions in trade flows. New needs are emerging consequently such as the
creation of cross-border areas by major infrastructures crossing natural barriers or the rebalancing of
seaboard areas.

In the revised guidelines on trans-European networks which the Commission intends to present in autumn
2001, there are plans to put forward measures for removing bottlenecks and to include a small number of
new major projects for achieving this aim.

The programme for the setting up of a European Spatial Planning Observatory Network (ESPON) will
make it possible to examine in greater depth equal access for regions to infrastructure along with the
planning impact of the trans-European transport networks policy.

The initial results of this work are expected in 2003 and could be incorporated in a wider-ranging review
of the guidelines on trans-European transport networks which the Commission is planning to put forward
in 2004 as a way among other things of introducing the idea of ‘sea motorways’ and creating better links
between remote regions across the continent.

(1) COM(2001) 24 final.

(2001/C 364 E/197) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1686/01

by Ilka Schröder (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(14 June 2001)

Subject: Video monitoring in nursery schools

In 1998, in connection with Netdays ’98, the European Union funded a project in Spain that involved the
video monitoring of various nursery schools and allowed video footage of the children and nursery school
staff to be accessed by parents via the web (

On what grounds was this project in Spain deemed eligible to receive funding?

Were its stated objectives achieved, and is the project to be regarded as a success?

If other European countries also use video technology in the education sector (including schools, school
buses etc), should this kind of video use be extended in the EU, and are such projects subject to scientific

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(26 July 2001)

The Commission contributed to the funding of the Netd@ys project, ‘BabyNET’, as it fulfilled all of the
selection criteria which had been set for the consideration of Netd@ys projects in 1998.

The project was well presented and it contained much interesting and relevant information. The evaluators
were particularly impressed with the clarity of the project’s objectives, the quality of the content, the
pedagogical effect, the European added value, the potential impact and the proposals for its wider

From the information provided, it appears that the project has met its objectives and it is considered to be
a success.

The project was promoted on the Netd@ys Europe 1998 Netd@ys website which a large number of people,
including educational specialists, had access to. It was for them to decide if the project could be adapted to
meet their specific needs and if this method of using video as an educational tool could be effectively
extended in the Community. The Commission currently has no plans to extend the use of the video as set
out in the BabyNET project. The pedagogical impact of the project was monitored by specialists.