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C 137 E/198 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.


Given that the utilisation of new knowledge and the development of new techniques have helped to put
timber in much the same position as concrete and steel, appropriate technical specifications need to be
drawn up both to harmonise elements of design and to ensure the free movement of products and
assembled kits.

In order to provide a framework for the internal market in construction products, the Commission, under
Council Directive 89/106/EEC of 21 December 1988 on the approximation of laws, regulations and
administrative provisions of the Member States relating to construction products (1), has issued various
standardisation mandates to the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) to draw up appropriate
technical specifications which will allow the ‘Community’ mark to be granted to timber products,
assemblies and kits, thus enabling these products to benefit from all the opportunities opened up by
European standardisation.

In addition, the Commission is continuing to monitor closely, and lend substantial support to, the drafting
and promotion of Eurocode No 5 (the specific code for the design of timber structures), drawn up by the
CEN’s TC 250 Committee.

It was against this background also that the Enhanced Use of Wood was one of the key themes of the
Forest-based Industries Forum, held in Stockholm in June 2001. This permitted a wide ranging discussion
of the challenges involved, and the issues raised continue to be discussed under the auspices of the
Commission’s Advisory Committee on the Forestry and Forest-based Industries in co-operation with the
industry and its organisations.

At a more general level, the 6th Community Environmental Action Plan, adopted by the Parliament in July
2002, proposes to stimulate the increase of market share for sustainably produced wood, inter alia,
through certification for sustainable forest management and encouraging the labelling of related products.
However, the Commission can not directly promote the use of any particular material, whether wood or
otherwise, nor can it intervene to ensure market price stability.

(1) OJ L 40, 11.2.1989.

(2003/C 137 E/223) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3389/02

by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(28 November 2002)

Subject: Progress with implementation of operational programme ‘Competitiveness’

According to information published in the Greek press concerning the operational programme
‘Competitiveness’, the contracts signed to date under that programme amount to 16,9 % of the total,
while the expenditure disbursed totals 6,9 %.

Does the Commission agree with these figures? It is satisfied with the progress made in implementing this
programme? What steps must be taken to remedy this situation?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(7 January 2003)

Under the rules the annual implementation report submitted to the Commission within six months of the
end of each calendar year and the intermediate evaluation findings constitute the monitoring documents.
It is on the basis of these reports that the Commission conveys its position on the progress of a

According to the reports in question it is incumbent on the Monitoring Committee to propose what action
ought to be taken to accelerate implementation of the Competitiveness Operational Programme.

The Commission has nonetheless under the partnership arrangements drawn the national authorities
attention to certain possible improvements in the programme.