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C 110 E/14 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.


Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2002)

Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) research is a minor activity of the 5th Framework programme for
research and technological development (RTD)’s key action ‘Aeronautics’ of the competitive and sustainable
growth programme. The work carried out in this field concerns strictly the development of civil
applications of UAVs.

The cooperation with Israeli entities is undertaken under the umbrella of the scientific and technological
agreement existing between the Community and Israel for the 5th Framework programme, which
specifically excludes any type of military research. Therefore, no aspect of military cooperation between
the Community and Israel exists in the UAV projects concerned.

The research work focuses on advances in the civil/commercial application of UAVs, in particular in areas
such as environmental monitoring, communication relays and earth observation, as well as the safe
integration of civil UAV into air traffic management.

Community contribution to Israel Aircraft Industries in these research activities amounts to less than
EUR 1,5 million.

The list of bilateral agreements concluded between the European Community (alone or in some cases with
its Member States) and Israel will be sent directly to the Honourable Member and to Parliament’s
Secretariat General. The term ‘EU agreement’ used by the Honourable Member is not applicable, as the
European Union as such is not a contracting party to any bilateral agreement with Israel.

While the Commission is very concerned about the current situation in the Middle East, it believes that it is
important to maintain relations with Israel and that suspending the Association Agreement would not
make the Israeli authorities more responsive to its concerns at this time. For now, the Commission believes
it is preferable to continue to use the mechanisms of the Agreement to press its point of view with the
Israeli authorities, at all levels.

The Union has no military cooperation agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Union does run
a counter-terrorist programme with the PA, which is financed from the Common Foreign and Security
Policy (CFSP) budget of the Union, and is based on a ‘joint action’. This programme consists of specific
assistance and training modules for the PA’s security services (forensics, investigation techniques, human
rights training, etc), which are implemented by Member States’ agencies under the management of the
Union Special Advisor in Ramallah, Nils Ericsson. This project has been severely affected by Israeli military
operations in the Palestinian Territories. The Forensic Science Laboratory, which it helped finance, was
destroyed by the Israeli army in December 2001.

The Code of Conduct on Arm Exports is an instrument implemented by the Member States. The
Commission has no power or competence to supervise the way implementation by Member States is
carried out.

(2003/C 110 E/014) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1274/02

by Eurig Wyn (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(6 May 2002)

Subject: Enviromental degradation caused by deforestation

The Brazilian Congress is now voting on a project that will reduce the Amazon forest to 50 % of its size.

Deforestation and the subsequent processing of the woodchips on this scale will also release huge amounts
of carbon into the atmosphere worsening the problem of climate change.
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/15

What is the Commission’s stance regarding this issue?

Does the Commission agree that steps should be taken in order to avoid the deforestation of an area four
times the size of Portugal?

Will the Commission also agree that deforestation on this scale will lead to further environmental

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 2002)

The Commission is very concerned about the ongoing high rates of global deforestation and forest
degradation and has endeavoured to promote the conservation and sustainable use of all types of forests.
The Commission fully recognises the Amazon forest’s importance as one of the most valuable forests of
the world (especially in terms of biodiversity).

Two years ago a committee of the Brazilian Congress began debating a revision of the Forest Code, which
would have changed the required percentage of forest reserve on private land only. The Brazilian
Government has strongly resisted this and discussions have been put on a back burner.

There is currently no ‘project that will reduce the Amazon forest to 50 % of its size’. Neither is any vote in
plenary likely to take place soon in the Brazilian Congress. Brazilian non-governmental organisations
(NGOs), public opinion in Brazil and the Brazilian media have made a strong campaign against the
proposals and are closely monitoring the situation.

Based on the above-mentioned, the Commission is closely monitoring the situation in the Brazilian
Congress, in particular in the light of the up-coming general elections in Brazil in October 2002.

The Commission is also continuing its support to the Pilot Programme of the group of seven most
industrialised countries in defence of the Brazilian tropical forests.

(2003/C 110 E/015) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1397/02

by Concepció Ferrer (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(15 May 2002)

Subject: 2004 national indicative programme for China  health and plant-protection rules

The Commission has announced that a group of Community experts were due to visit China in April in
order to hold meetings for the purpose of drawing up a fresh proposal for a 2004 national indicative
programme for China  one which, it is hoped, will include a major component relating to health and
plant-protection rules.

Will the Commission report on that visit and provide an assessment with regard to the inclusion of a
health and plant-protection component in the above programme?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(21 June 2002)

A team of four experts started its activities in China on 13 May 2002 to study the feasibility of a new
World Trade Organisation (WTO) related technical assistance programme, based on an analysis of the
objectives, strategies and future needs of China, and on a mid-term evaluation of the ongoing Framework
Programme for Community support to China’s accession to the WTO.

The outcome of this expert mission should allow the Commission to agree with China on the content of a
new programme and to adopt this programme in the second part of the year 2002.