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8.5.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/119

Since the Commission does not consider the responses provided to be satisfactory, Spain has not complied
with the reasoned opinion and has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 28 of the EC Treaty by
refusing access to the Spanish market for products lawfully manufactured and marketed in other Member
States under the name of ‘cleaning agents with bleach’ or a similar term, when these have chlorine
concentration of less then 35 grammes/litre. As a result, the Commission has brought this case before the
Court of Justice (Case C-2001/358).

This case is currently pending before the Court.

(2003/C 110 E/125) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2889/02


by Adriana Poli Bortone (UEN) to the Commission

(14 October 2002)

Subject: Coordination of Community aid measures

Knowing that:

(a) the objective of the European Union is basically to ensure optimal use of resources by achieving
effective results in the regions concerned;

(b) to achieve this objective is essential to have a national administrative structure in place;

(c) however, a single programme may be managed by several directorates-general (in both the Member
States and in non-member countries) or two programmes (e.g. CARDS and Interreg III) have the same
task (in terms of technical assistance).

Can the Commission answer the following:

1. Should it not review the responsibilities of the various directorates-general, within its organisation, in
order to optimise the coordination of measures;

2. Should it not also check that the objectives of programmes match the resources available?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(26 November 2002)

In improving its working methods and making them more effective the Commission constantly strives to
improve the coordination of Community activity.

In relation to the management of the programmes supported by the Structural Funds, such coordination
concerns, on the one hand, the authorities and actors at national, regional and local level and the
Commission, and, on the other hand, the different specialist services of the Commission that contribute to
the conception and implementation of the interventions. In general, the Community programmes financed
by the Structural Funds include measures in several sectors (small and medium-sized firms, agriculture,
training, the environment, etc.) which fall within the scope of various Directorates-General. At the
programming stage, on the basis of the proposals submitted by the Member States, the coherence and
coordination of assistance are guaranteed by the joint definition of priorities and general objectives. These
concerns are also addressed as part of the monitoring of programmes through internal coordination within
the various Commission departments concerned with the implementation of programmes. For all structural
measures, the Regional Policy Directorate-General is responsible for coordinating matters of concern to all
the Funds.

In the case of interregional cooperation programmes involving non-member countries, assistance in


Community cross-border regions is carried out under the Interreg Community Initiatives programme, in
coordination with similar measures financed by external financial instruments (CARDS, PHARE, TACIS,
etc.). To improve this coordination, the managing and Monitoring Committees for many programmes
include joint representation of the Community regions and non-member countries concerned; Interreg
projects are selected jointly and joint information and technical assistance initiatives are organised.
C 110 E/120 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

There is also coordination within the Commission. The relevant Directorates-General (Regional Policy,
External Relations and EuropeAid) work in close cooperation on these matters and, on the basis of the
substantial progress achieved in coordination among Interreg, PHARE and CBC on the one hand and
among Interreg and TACIS on the other, departments are currently drawing up a framework for Interreg
and CARDS.

The coordination of actions and the definition of responsibilities within the framework of the Structural
Funds is a matter that the Commission keeps under constant review.

As regards the matching of resources for programmes to objectives, it should be noted that the rules
governing assistance from the Structural Funds require for each programme the fixing of targets and
quantified indicators which are checked throughout the life of the programmes by means of the ex-ante,
mid-term and ex-post evaluations of assistance.

(2003/C 110 E/126) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2895/02


by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission

(14 October 2002)

Subject: Arrest of Mr Wei Jingyi, bishop of the ‘unofficial’ Chinese Catholic Church

On 9 September Mr Wei Jingyi, bishop of the underground Catholic Church and former secretary of the
Conference of Chinese bishops loyal to the Holy See, was arrested by police in the city of Qiqihar. This
arrest seems to be part of a crackdown by the Chinese authorities in their deliberate policy of repression
towards the spiritual authorities of the Catholic Church loyal to the Holy See, a Church which has more
than eight million members compared with the state-sponsored Catholic Church which has five million
members.

According to independent sources, fifty or so bishops belonging to the underground Catholic Church are
currently in prison, under house arrest, under strict police supervision or in hiding.

Is the Commission aware of this arrest which comes after a long series of other arrests? Does it have any
other information to suggest that this is a real crackdown on ‘unofficial’ Churches? If so, what initiatives
does it intend to take to prevail upon the Chinese authorities to respect freedom of religion and religious
belief?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(13 November 2002)

The Commission thanks the Honourable Member for his information on the arrest on 9 September 2002,
by police forces in Qigihar, of Mr Wei Jingy, priest of the ‘non-official’ Chinese Catholic Church.

The Commission considers the freedom of religion and belief to be a fundamental human right, and raises
this issue regularly in the framework of the Union’s dialogue on human rights with China.

Regarding the situation of the ‘non-official’ Catholic Church in China, the Commission shares the
Honourable Member’s concern. While the ‘National Working Meeting on Religion’, held in December
2001, appeared to signal a greater openness toward mainstream religions operating in China, recent
information indicates that restrictions on Catholic underground churches have not been relaxed.

The Commission will continue to closely monitor the Chinese government’s respect for freedom of religion
and belief, and will continue to express concern about violations of this fundamental right, including the
on-going crackdown on persons exercising their religious beliefs.