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C 110 E/200 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.


designed to provide Armenia with alternative power supplies following the closure of MNPP. This first
study showed that closing down MNPP by the target date of 2004 would not be possible without causing
serious disruption of electricity supplies to Armenian users.

Against this background, it became clear from the Commission’s discussions with the Armenian authorities
that it would not be able to obtain an agreement on closure of MNPP by 2004.

A further report funded under the TACIS programme and completed in August 2002 has prepared a
detailed Financing and Investment Plan for the development of alternative capacities to MNPP.

The plan prioritises a number of concrete projects which would respectively:

(a) shutdown MNPP and replace its capacity;

(b) increase energy savings, electrical system reliability and fuel diversification and

(c) contribute to meeting electricity demand in 2010, decreasing dependency on non-indigenous sources
and increasing diversification.

The Commission is now completing this report by means of a ‘least cost’ study to establish which sources
of energy, including renewable energies, offer the most economically favourable alternative for Medzamor.
This is considered an essential step to encourage broad-based financial support from the international
community. As soon as this study is completed, we hope early in 2003, the Joint Armenia-Commission
Working Group will meet in order to agree on the earliest possible closing date which should be
confirmed in a Memorandum of Understanding. The Commission stands ready to honour its commitment
to contribute to a donor’s fund when this agreement is reached.

(2003/C 110 E/222) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3304/02

by Albert Maat (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(21 November 2002)

Subject: Closure of Belgium’s three-mile zone

Does the European Commission take the view that the closure of Belgium’s three-mile zone to fishing
vessels with engines of more than 70 hp is consistent with freedom of access for the EU Member States,
particularly as French, British and Dutch fishing vessels are affected?

Is the European Commission prepared to call the Belgian Government to order over this matter?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(17 December 2002)

Article 6(2) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3760/92 of 20 December 1992 establishing a Community
system for fisheries and aquaculture (1) reads:

In addition to the activities pursued under existing neighbourhood relations between Member States,
the fishing activities under the arrangements established in paragraph 1 [possibility of reserving zone
up to 12 miles for national vessels] shall be pursued in accordance with the arrangements contained
in Annex I, fixing for each Member State the geographical zones within the coastal bands of other
Member States where these activities are pursued and the species concerned.

Annex I indicates that in Belgium’s 3 to 12 mile band Dutch vessels can fish for all species and French
vessels for herring. No mention is made of fishing in the 0 to 3 mile band by Dutch, French or British
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/201

Identical provisions appeared in Article 6 of and Annex I to Council Regulation (EEC) No 170/83 of
25 January 1983 (2) instituting a common fisheries policy.

Fishing within the Belgian 3 mile zone by other Member States’ vessels is thus not regulated by
Community law. If as the Honourable Member indicates there has been a legal fishing activity within that
zone it was exercised ‘under existing neighbourhood relations’ between Belgium and the countries

Any problem or dispute over fishing within the 3 mile zone thus has to be examined in the light of the
provisions of these ‘neighbourhood agreements’, of which the Commission has no knowledge. It is thus
not in a position to indicate what rights French, Dutch or British vessels may be entitled to in the 3 mile
zone under these agreements.

(1) OJ L 389, 31.12.1992.

(2) OJ L 24, 27.1.1983.

(2003/C 110 E/223) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3310/02

by Bartho Pronk (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(21 November 2002)

Subject: Follow-up question to Written Question E-2710/02 on the comparability of EU and US figures

The Commission’s answer to Written Question E-2710/02 (1) includes the following statement: ‘Given that
a range of alternative methods might be used in place of hedonics, the alternative methods could be
expected to give a range of results’. The Commission thus acknowledges that figures for economic growth
in the European Union and the United States are difficult to compare. According to The Economist, this
also applies to the measurement of productivity growth. The magazine writes that in the United States
productivity growth is measured as output per hour, whereas in Europe it is measured as output per
worker (The Economist, 18 May 2002). If the relevant calculations were based on output per hour, the
differences between the EU and the US would be smaller.

1. Given the apparent impossibility of comparing figures for economic growth, how can the EU
measure whether the strategic goal laid down in Lisbon has been achieved or not?

2. Does the Commission endorse the argument put forward by The Economist?

3. The Economist also writes that GDP (gross domestic product) increased by 1,2 % in the US in 2001,
whereas NDP (net domestic product, i.e. corrected to take account of capital consumption) fell by 0,1 %.
Can the Commission confirm these figures, and state what the EU’s NDP was? The Economist takes the
view that NDP is a better indicator of economic development. Does the Commission share this view?

4. On the basis of NDP per hour worked, how do the respective figures for the EU and the US compare
in recent years? What conclusions can be drawn from such a comparison?

5. What implications do these differences in statistical methods have for the results of OECD studies?

(1) OJ C 52 E, 6.3.2003, p. 204.

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(8 January 2003)

1. The Commission notes that a very considerable degree of harmonisation work has been undertaken
within the Community on economic statistics, and work will continue to improve price deflation methods.
The Commission will shortly produce a new Decision to provide a legal basis for this further