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12.6.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/15

This working paper was the basis for the expected work of the new accounting officer to prepare for
March 2002 a memorandum to the Commission on the modernisation of the accounting system. As the
accounting officer prepared no adequate document at that time, the memorandum was postponed to the
end of July 2002.

The Director General of DG Budget has reflected the problems and risks associated with Sincom2
in his annual Statement of Assurance. This declaration included a reservation concerning Sincom2.
The individual annual activity reports of the Commission Directorates General, along with a summary
report, will be sent by the Commission to the other Institutions.

(2003/C 137 E/016) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1622/02


by Glenys Kinnock (PSE) to the Commission

(6 June 2002)

Subject: WTO Round

Does the Commission agree with a comment made by senior WTO negotiators in Geneva that in the light
of US steel tariffs and new farm subsidies, the ‘chance of meeting the 2004 target for completing the
round hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of being met’?

Answer given by Mr Lamy on behalf of the Commission

(17 July 2002)

The Commission considers that the conclusion of the Doha Development Negotiations by the end of 2004
continues to be feasible. The main ingredient for respecting the deadline is political will.

The impact of the United States (US) steel tariffs and the US Farm Bill is ambivalent in this respect. On the
one hand, any sign of protectionism from a major World Trade Organisation (WTO) member at a time
where all WTO members have pledged to further trade liberalisation in Doha risks sowing doubt among
partners about that member’s willingness to engage in real negotiations on some areas. Equally, the
adoption of new farm subsidies will contribute to complicate the negotiations in the WTO on agriculture,
since it reverses the international trend of reducing trade distorting support to agriculture and risks
destabilising world markets.

On the other hand, however, it should be remembered that the DDA (Doha Development Agenda) is
much broader than the steel and agriculture issues. Overall, the stakes of US in these negotiations are too
comprehensive for them to choose not to engage seriously in the negotiations and they therefore also have
a strong interest in them finishing on time. Also, the issues related to the US steel safeguards have shown
to all WTO members that the scope for WTO members taking protectionist, unilateral measures needs to
be curbed further and that the DDA presents the best opportunity to do this.

A number of important WTO members, either in the framework of the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) ministerial on 17/18 June 2002 or in the framework of the Asia-
Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers meeting on 29 May 2002 have reaffirmed their
political will to create the necessary conditions for a successful 5th Ministerial in Cancun on
10-14 September 2003, to conduct negotiations according to the agreed schedules and to conclude them
by 1 January 2005.

For its part, the EU will continue to be proactive in the negotiations in order to allow for a conclusion of
the DDA within the agreed deadline.