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17.4.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 92 E/195

The Contracting States thus inform air transport operators whenever an air navigation service  e.g.
meteorological services  is introduced, withdrawn or altered, including the availability of such services
throughout the day (in aeronautic jargon this is known as ‘notice to airmen’ or ‘NOTAM’). This
information should be constantly adjusted to reflect the current situation.

The Commission is unable to provide comprehensive, up-to-date information on all the air navigation
services provided in Greece. Such information can be obtained from the aerodromes concerned and,
centrally, from the national civil aviation authority, which maintains an ‘on-call’ service (tel.
+30 10 89 16 000). By way of example, however, the Commission is sending directly to the Honourable
Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat the information valid at the end of September 2002 for certain
specific airports, in order that he may assess the extent of the services available.

There are no Community rules at present on the availability of air navigation services, and the only
constraints applicable in Greece are those deriving from international agreements, including the Chicago
Convention, and from national Greek law. The Commission would point out, though, that these services
are included within the scope of the ‘single sky’ rules it has put forward (1) to improve the functioning of
air traffic management and on which Parliament delivered an opinion (2) at first reading on 3 September
2002. Once adopted by the Community legislator, these rules will make it possible to introduce quality
and continuity requirements.

(1) COM(2001) 564 final.


(2) P5_TA-Prov(2002)0392.

(2003/C 92 E/255) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2648/02


by Sérgio Marques (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(20 September 2002)

Subject: The energy section of the Poseima programme

Between 1991 and 1993 the Portuguese autonomous regions benefited under the energy section of the
Poseima programme from aid designed to compensate for the additional costs of transporting petroleum
products by sea between the continent and the main storage depots in the archipelagos of the Azores and
Madeira, as well as between them and the secondary depots situated on other islands in both archipelagos.

At the end of this period the Commission was sent the annual reports and other additional information
enabling it to evaluate the measure and review the situation, with a view to deciding whether to extend it.
However, the Commission has still not carried out this evaluation.

Despite having taken note of the proposals made by the two Portuguese regions to renew the energy
measure under Poseima, submitted by Portugal in 2000 and 2001, and having recognised, in the Report
on the measures designed to comply with Article 299(2) of the EC Treaty, both regions’ heavy dependence
on oil supplies and the fact that, as regards the energy section of Poseima, ‘the funding was utilised in
accordance with the proposed objectives’, this issue has been neglected for a long time, since the
Commission systematically claims it is difficult to find funding for it.

Can the Commission say:

1. when it intends to fulfil its legal obligation to evaluate the aid granted to the energy sector in the
Portuguese autonomous regions under the energy section of the Poseima programme between 1991
and 1993;

2. whether the disadvantages of the energy sector in Madeira and the Azores, well-known to the
Commission and recognised by the European Parliament as early as 1994, make it necessary to
maintain specific Community aid to the sector, more precisely along the lines which were recently
proposed to the Commission and merited its support, and how and when the Commission intends to
create a separate budget heading, in addition to the structural funds, to finance the energy section of
the Poseima programme;
C 92 E/196 Official Journal of the European Union EN 17.4.2003

3. when it will carry out its intention to introduce a specific arrangement for the outermost regions to
enable them to benefit fully from the funding envisaged under the various energy progammes
included in Community energy and RTD policies?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(29 October 2002)

1. The Commission evaluated the energy section of the Poseima programme at the end of its
implementation period (1991-1993). The assessment report sent by the Commission’s Secretariat-General
to the Interdepartmental Working Party on outermost regions in 1997 concluded that the Poseima energy
funds had been used in accordance with the provisions of the Poseima Regulation.

2. It was not possible to pursue the Poseima energy initiative beyond 1994 owing to a lack of separate
funding (the budgetary authority removed the Poseima budget headings). This still applies today and also
explains the fact that aid intended to offset additional transport costs cannot be covered from the
Structural Funds. Accordingly, such compensation can only be provided by means of specific aid granted
at national level and duly notified to the Commission, or by another type of Community intervention to be
discussed and identified. The Commission could examine this issue. In fact, the Commission has indicated
to the Portuguese authorities on several occasions that it seems possible to finance certain investment
support measures for energy saving and renewable energy through the Structural Funds, especially
Objective 1, and has encouraged them to explore that avenue thoroughly. This possibility of Structural
Fund co-financing is also mentioned in the Commission’s report on measures intended to implement
Article 299(2). (1) It should also be noted that since the amendment of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/
1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds, (2) the Community
contribution can in exceptional cases be raised to 85 % of eligible costs for the outermost regions.

3. Most of the Community rules currently in force allow account to be taken of the needs of the
outermost regions (e.g. state aid, public service obligations). Moreover, the Commission has recently put
forward several proposals recognising the special nature of these regions. For instance, in December 2001,
as part of the review of the Community guidelines for the trans-European energy network (TEN) (3)
(still under discussion in Parliament and the Council), it proposed including the interconnection of the
outlying and outermost regions. The Commission’s proposal identifies two projects of common interest in
this regard: the development and connection of the electricity grids in these regions, and the introduction
of natural gas and creation of gas grids. This inclusion of the outermost regions in the TEN-Energy
guidelines clears the way for financial support from the TEN budget and loans from the European
Investment Bank (EIB). Furthermore, though the SAVE and Altener programmes have until now made no
specific reference to the outermost regions, the Commission has proposed that the forthcoming ‘Intelligent
energy for Europe’ programme (4) encourage these regions to participate through specific key actions. The
proposal for the ‘Intelligent energy for Europe’ programme is currently being discussed in Parliament and
the Council.

(1) OJ C 181 E, 30.7.2002.


(2) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999.
(3) COM(2001) 775 final.
(4) OJ C 203 E, 27.8.2002.

(2003/C 92 E/256) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2651/02


by Kathleen Van Brempt (PSE) to the Commission

(20 September 2002)

Subject: GSM blocking systems

I should like to thank Mr Liikanen for his reply to my question E-2197/02 (1). However, I should also
appreciate some more information.