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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 92 E/225

(2003/C 92 E/284) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3015/02

by Dominique Vlasto (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(23 October 2002)

Subject: Management of funds granted by the ESF in France

The national coordinating committee for action to assist people with disabilities and promote their
integration into society and employment prospects (le Comité National de Coordination de l’Action en
faveur des Personnes Handicapées, Promotion Sociale et Professionnelle, CCAH-PSP), the aim of which is
‘to integrate young people with disabilities into ordinary working life’, was an approved coordinating body
under the 1991-1993 and 1995-1999 operational programmes co-financed by the European Social Fund
(FSE) in France.

The CCAH-PSP has had problems, however, in connection with the payment of the total funds granted by
the ESF for 1999, and in particular the reduction of the amount in question by the Directorate-General for
Social Action (DGAS) of the Ministry of Employment and Solidarity. It seems that the sums paid to the
CCAH-PSP in 1999 fell considerably short of those agreed, and provided, by the ESF.

1. Should the funds granted by the ESF be paid in full to the approved organisations responsible for
implementing the programmes? In the case of France, what is the role of the Directorate-General for Social
Action (DGAS)? May it reduce the amount of funding allocated to a coordinating organisation by the ESF?

2. Could the Commission state the amount received in 1999 by the French ESF mission for Objective 3,
measure 17, of the 1994-1999 ESF programming period in France? Could it state what proportion of that
sum was in fact paid to the CCAH-PSP in 1999?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(27 November 2002)

1. It should first be noted that, with regard to the Community Structural Funds, the Commission
restricts its involvement to working in partnership with the relevant Member State to define priority areas
and the most appropriate measures and actions to meet the objectives set.

Implementing the actions and measures chosen is then exclusively a matter for the Member State and the
national and/or regional authorities responsible. Because of this sharing of responsibilities, the Commission
generally does not have any knowledge of the decisions made within the Member States concerning
approval of projects or groups of projects within the actions or measures set out in the operational
programmes. The Commission therefore has no information concerning any reduction, decided by the
Directorate-General for Social Action (DGAS) of the Ministry of Employment and Solidarity, of the
European Social Fund (ESF) grant for actions coordinated by the national coordinating committee for
action to assist people with disabilities and promote their integration into society and their employment
prospects (CCAH-PSP).

The Commission can only confirm that Article 21 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2082/93 of 20 July
1993 (1), which was in force for the period in question, stipulates that: ‘the payments shall be made to the
final beneficiaries without any deduction or retention which could reduce the amount of financial
assistance to which they are entitled’.

2. As the 1994-1999 programme for Objective 3 has not yet been closed, the Commission is not in a
position to indicate the sum it paid in 1999 under Measure 17 of the above programme.

The Commission can nevertheless confirm that with regard to the 1994/1999 programme, and more
specifically its 1999 tranche, the programme’s last financial model, as amended by the Commission
Decision of 30 December 1999, identifies an ESF contribution of EUR 58 106 million under Measure 17
(on bringing groups in great difficulties up to standard and qualifying them), for the measure as a whole,
both national and regional components.
C 92 E/226 Official Journal of the European Union EN 17.4.2003

This measure effectively related to people with disabilities but also, more generally, to immigrant or
foreign jobseekers, refugees, persons in custody or imprisoned, and groups faced with illiteracy. In terms of
programme management, the financial model did not identify the breakdown of the ESF budget for
Measure 17 according to target group. The Commission therefore does not yet have any information on
the sum awarded by the French Ministry of Employment and Solidarity to the CCAH-PSP under this
measure. However, the Commission will contact the Member State and will ensure that any additional
information received is forwarded immediately to the Honourable Member.

(1) Council Regulation (EEC) No 2082/93 of 20 July 1993 amending Regulation (EEC) No 4253/88 laying down
provisions for implementing Regulation (EEC) No 2052/88 as regards coordination of the activities of the different
Structural Funds between themselves and with the operations of the European Investment Bank and the other
existing financial instruments, OJ L 193, 31.7.1993.

(2003/C 92 E/285) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3059/02

by Luciano Caveri (ELDR) to the Commission

(25 October 2002)

Subject: Crisis at Fiat

The serious economic crisis faced by the Italian car maker Fiat comes on top of the many other problems
in large companies that have shaken the European economy in recent months. The need for radical
industrial restructuring raises major concerns about the European economy as a whole and, in particular,
the risk of the heavy job losses. The Fiat crisis is likely to involve many firms supplying components in the
automobile sector, producing a multiplier effect with worrying consequences.

Does the Commission intend to make a thorough assessment of the situation and bring forward proposals
designed to find solutions to this very serious economic crisis?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(3 December 2002)

The Managing Change Report of the High Level Expert Group on Industrial Change (the ‘Gyllenhammer
group’) set up in the wake of the major plant closure at Renault Vilvorde in 1997, stated in 1998 that
change can be positive if properly anticipated.

The European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC) was therefore set up in the European Foundation for
the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in October 2001 to address issues raised by industrial

The EMCC is one of the main measures proposed in the Commission’s June 2000 Social Policy Agenda
and responds to calls by the Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Industrial Change. The EMCC’s
objective is to provide the tools for key actors in European social policy to make more informed decisions
about managing the processes of change.

In addition to that, the Union has over the years developed policies and instruments aimed at ensuring that
corporate restructuring is done in a socially acceptable way. As a result of that on-going policy, every
restructuring operation must be preceded by effective information and consultation of employees’
representatives with the aim of avoiding or attenuating its social impact, in accordance with Community
Directives on ‘Collective Redundancies’ (1), ‘Transfers of Undertakings’ (2), ‘European Works Councils’ (3) and
‘Information and Consultation’ (4).