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C 110 E/42 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.

2003

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(3 September 2002)

Further to the Parliament and Council Regulations (1) on the reinforcement of the Union’s contribution to
the fight against anti-personnel landmines (APL), the Commission has prepared and transmitted to the
Member States in the beginning of June 2002 for discussion a draft 2002-2004 Multiannual Strategy and
Programme for the APL budget.

This discussion has not yet taken place and the Strategy is consequently not yet operational. However, the
draft contains provisions to support non-state actors, possibly already during 2002, if mature initiatives to
raise confidence between parties involved in internal conflicts can be proposed.

The Commission has so far funded various types of actions, in particular impact surveys, mine clearance,
awareness building and operational research-related actions.

In accordance with the Regulations which came into force at the end of 2001, the Commission will
intensify its support for actions banning APL, for financing impact surveys with a view to support the
planning of priorities, to finance mine clearance, awareness raising and other actions and will have
recourse to non-state actors as well as international organisations defending on needs on the spot and the
capacity of the actors concerned to best perform the activities.

The Commission believes that Geneva Call has achieved a high degree of beneficial impact in Sudan. This
is a country which has been a priority for Community support in the fight against APL since early 2000.
The Commission takes the view that all the ingredients for further cross-line confidence building activities
exist there and its continued support will be essential.

(1) Regulation (EC) No 1724/2001 of the Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2001 concerning action against
anti-personnel landmines in developing countries, OJ L 234, 1.9.2001;Council Regulation (EC) No 1725/2001 of
23 July 2001 concerning action against anti-personnel landmines in third countries other than developing
countries, OJ L 234, 1.9.2001.

(2003/C 110 E/043) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2335/02


by David Bowe (PSE) to the Commission

(26 July 2002)

Subject: Decommissioning of the Russian nuclear fleet

What assurances can the Commission give that effective action is being taken to ensure the safe collection,
treatment and disposal of radioactive waste arising from the decommissioning of the Russian nuclear
submarine fleet?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(20 September 2002)

The Russian authorities are responsible for ensuring the safe collection, treatment and disposal of
radioactive waste arising from the decommissioning of the Russian nuclear submarine fleet. The
international community, including the Union, nevertheless attach great importance to the effective
pursuit of these activities.

For example, the Commission has played a very active role in launching the ‘Northern Dimension
Environmental Protection Fund’ (NDEP). The NDEP, which will be managed by the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, was launched at a pledging conference in Brussels on
9 July 2002 chaired by the Commission. To date there are confirmed pledges amounting to EUR 110
million. Within this, the Commission has pledged EUR 50 million to the fund, of which EUR 40 million is
for its ‘nuclear window’. This contribution will come from the TACIS Nuclear Safety budget line. The main
objective of the NDEP nuclear window is to assist the Russian Federation in the most urgent tasks relating
to nuclear waste in North West Russia, including in particular those relating to the situation of the
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/43

Northern Fleet: nuclear submarines that have to be dismantled, handling and storing the nuclear spent fuel
resulting from that, improving the safety conditions of the naval bases of the area. In particular, the
quantity of spent fuel stored in the Andreeva Bay base and the imminent environmental threat of the
damaged spent fuel storage ponds, signal this base as the top priority to be addressed by the NDEP fund.

In addition, at the Kananaskis summit (Canada, 26 and 27 June 2002), the Group of eight most
industrialised countries launched a global partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass
destruction. Its aims to develop, coordinate, implement and finance, according to their respective means,
new or expanded cooperation projects to address non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism and
nuclear safety (including environmental) issues.

(2003/C 110 E/044) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2340/02


by Antonios Trakatellis (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(22 July 2002)

Subject: Mismanagement of Community funds in the environmental sector in Greece and the violation of
property rights in projects carried out under the Natura 2000 network

In view of the mismanagement of Community funds in the environmental sector in Greece which has been
condemned by the Greek Parliament (July 2002) and on the basis of detailed data furnished by
Commissioner Barnier in an annex to his answer to my question E-0796/02 (1) on the Community funding
of plans and projects implementing the Natura 2000 network and EAGGF contribution to environmental
protection in Greece, will the Commission state:

 What measures it has taken, or does it intend to take, to address the mismanagement of funds and
fraud in the funding of projects by the ERDF, the EAGGF and the Life programme and to ensure that
effective environmental protection is carried out in Greece?

 To which projects or actions has funding amounting to GRD 778 217 320 (EUR 2 283 836,6) been
allocated for the implementation of the ‘Maríne park of Lagana Bay, Zakynthos  Biotope
Management’ which was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (operational
programme on the environment) for the protection of the Caretta Caretta sea turtle?

 Is it aware that excessively large areas of land have been tied down for twenty years for the protection
of Caretta Caretta and the creation of the national park of Zakynthos, without the owners receiving
any financial compensation or indemnification or the land being expropriated? To what extent does
the Commission find it acceptable that Community funds should be used to co-fund projects which
deprive the owners of ownership rights without just compensation being paid to them in good time,
which is a violation of the fundamental principles of the EU Treaty (Article 6) and the Charter of
Fundamental Rights of the European Union (see Article 17) (2)?

(1) OJ C 301 E, 5.12.2002, p. 54.


(2) OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(30 September 2002)

The Commission has been informed about mismanagement of Community appropriations from the
European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) and in relation to long-term set-aside of
pasture. It has asked the Greek authorities to carry out on-site checks, the initial findings of which confirm
substantial irregularities. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is currently conducting an investigation
with the assistance of the serious fraud squad and the other Greek authorities concerned, including the
Ministry of the Interior. All payments from the EAGGF have been suspended pending completion of the
investigation, the findings of which will be notified to the Greek authorities for follow-up action.