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C 115 E/156 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 16.5.

2002

(2002/C 115 E/161) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2755/01


by Jonas Sjöstedt (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(9 October 2001)

Subject: Free trade with the 48 poorest countries in the world

In March 2001 free trade with transitional periods between the EU countries and the 48 poorest countries
in the world was decided on.

Is there any possibility that the EU might reappraise this decision in principle or is it hard and fast? If there
is any scope for reappraisal will the Commission state the terms on which it would take place?

Answer given by Mr Lamy on behalf of the Commission

(14 November 2001)

On 26 February 2001, the Council adopted Regulation (EC) No 416/2001 of 28 February 2001 amending
Regulation (EC) No 2820/98 applying a multiannual scheme of generalised tariff preferences for the period
1 July 1999 to 31 December 2001 so as to extend duty-free access without any quantitative restrictions to
products originating in the least developed countries (LDCs) (1) 5 commonly referred to as the ‘everything
but arms (EBA) Regulation’, granting duty-free access to imports of all products from LDCs (48 poorest
countries), except arms and munitions, without any quantitative restrictions. Only for imports of fresh
bananas, rice and sugar liberalisation will take place in stages, with full liberalisation taking effect in 2009.

The EBA Regulation amended Regulation (EC) No 2820/98 of 21 December 1998, applying a multiannual
scheme of generalised tariff preferences for the period 1 July 1999 to 31 December 2001 (2) (‘generalised
system of preferences (GSP)’ Regulation).

EBA as part of the GSP is an autonomous trade policy instrument providing development-oriented
preferences. It is a unilateral concession from the Community to the world’s poorest countries to improve
trading opportunities for LDCs and enhance their participation in world trade.

The EBA Regulation foresees a liberalisation process which will end in 2009. It also provides that the
special arrangements for LDCs should not be subject to the periodic renewal of the Community’s scheme
of generalised preferences. Therefore, the date of expiry of the present GSP scheme (31 December 2001)
does not apply to EBA provisions.

(1) OJ L 60, 1.3.2001.


(2) OJ L 357, 30.12.1998.

(2002/C 115 E/162) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2777/01


by Samuli Pohjamo (ELDR) to the Commission

(9 October 2001)

Subject: Compliance with the additionality principle in connection with the EU’s structural fund policy in
Finland

Can the Commission supply information on how Finland claims to be complying with the additionality
principle in the context of the EU’s structural fund policy?

Is this in line with the principles set out in the structural fund regulations?