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C 301 E/74 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 5.12.

2002

(2002/C 301 E/080) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0972/02


by Nelly Maes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(10 April 2002)

Subject: Commission monitoring of the use of structural funds in the Hainaut Province

In the 2000-2006 programming period, projects in the Hainaut Province are financed during the phasing-
out period from funds under Objective 1. The province also receives funds from other programmes such
as the ESF, ERDF and the EAGGF. The projects supported in full or in part by these funds are selected and
financially supported by the Member State and its appropriate organs. The Commission has the power to
monitor these selected projects.

Which individual DGs are empowered to carry out the checks already undertaken in Hainaut? What
criteria are applied when such checks are carried out?

Has the Commission already carried out checks on projects in Hainaut financed by the Community (from
the various Funds) in the programming period 2000-2006?

1. If so, can the Commission provide a summary of such checks and the results thereof?

2. If not, are any such checks in the pipeline and, if so, which projects are involved? What obstacles
have prevented the checks from being carried out?

Does the Commission have an overview of the checks carried out in Hainaut and the results thereof for the
1994-1999 programming period?

In the monitoring reports relating to both periods, are there any references to the specific undertakings
and contractors who carried out certain projects on behalf of the administrative authorities?

1. If so, can the Commission provide an overview thereof?

2. If not, does the Commission know to which bodies requests for such information should be
addressed?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(25 June 2002)

The Directorates-General (DGs) authorised to carry out inspections of programmes part-financed by the
Structural Funds are:

 Regional Policy (REGIO) for assistance from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF);

 Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) for assistance from the European Social Fund (ESF);

 Agriculture (AGRI) for assistance from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund 
Guidance section (EAGGF);

 Fisheries (FISH) for assistance from the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).

The primary responsibility for the control of programmes financed by the Union falls to the relevant
authorities in the Member States.

In addition, the services of the Commission undertake controls at two levels:

 systems control;

 controls of a sample of programmes and projects.

The programmes to be checked are selected on the basis of a risk analysis while ensuring adequate
geographical coverage of all the Member States and all types of programme.
5.12.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 301 E/75

In addition, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is responsible for investigating irregularities and frauds.
One project implemented in the province of Hainaut during the 2000-2006 programming period is
currently being investigated by OLAF.

DG REGIO is currently finalising the work plan for the 1994-1999 programming period, which will
provide a basis for the selection and implementation of audits into the closure of individual programmes.
Individual projects will also be selected and mentioned in the inspection reports.

Following submission of the application for final payment for closure of the programmes, DG FISH will
carry out an audit inspection for the 1994-1999 programming period based on individual selection. The
results of these checks will be mentioned in the final report.

OLAF has carried out investigations with links to projects implemented in the province of Hainaut during
the 1994-1999 programming period, all of which have been closed.

In view of the decentralisation of responsibilities for the management of the Structural Funds, for
information on the project operators and possible promoters, the Commission would request the
Honourable Member to contact the authorities responsible for programme management, at the following
address: Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction générale de l’économie et de l’emploi, Division de la
Politique économique, Direction des Programmes européens, Place de la Wallonie 1, B-5100 Jambes 
Namur (Belgium).

(2002/C 301 E/081) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0987/02


by Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(12 April 2002)

Subject: Follow-up regulation to Regulation No 3528/86 on the protection of forests against atmospheric
pollution

1. What concrete strategy is the Commission pursuing in order to expand the existing aim of the
Regulation (protecting forests against atmospheric pollution) to include biodiversity and climate
protection?

2. Has the Commission considered whether the selection of sites already undertaken will make such a
new target possible?

3. How will the Commission ensure that the extensive data base and large number of assessments are
coordinated so as to ensure that the fullest possible account is taken of quality aspects, data management
and the cost-effectiveness ratio?

4. What measures will the Commission take to ensure the continuation of existing cooperation with the
UN/ECEs ICP Forests?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(19 June 2002)

Following the success of the Council Regulations which expire at the end of this year on the protection of
the Community’s forests against atmospheric pollution (1) and against fire (2), the Commission is planning a
new Community action to monitor woodland and its interaction with the environment to take effect from
2003. The Commission intends to present the Parliament and the Council with a proposal for a new
Framework Regulation, covering both forest monitoring and the fire information system, at the end of
June 2002.

The aim of the new action will be to go beyond protecting forests from atmospheric pollution to include
more detailed assessment of the health of forest ecosystems and the factors influencing it.