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C 137 E/202 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.


For all the reasons mentioned, the proposal to simplify the Regulation, which was presented by the
Commission in 1998 (3), does not contain any substantial amendments to the method for calculating
old-age pensions.

(1) OJ L 149, 5.7.1971.

(2) Decker [1998] ECR I-1831.
(3) Proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) on coordination of social security systems, presented by the Commission on
4 January 1998, COM(98) 779 final.

(2003/C 137 E/227) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3423/02

by Ioannis Marínos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(2 December 2002)

Subject: Take-up of funds under third CSF in Greece

Mr Pachtas, the Greek Deputy Minister responsible for administering funds from the third Community
Support Framework (CSF), indicated that in Greece over 70 % of the scheme had already been mobilised.
However, information published by the Greek Finance Ministry indicates a take-up rate of only 10,67 % of
public funds earmarked for this purpose almost three years after official entry into force. Furthermore, if
private sector contributions are also taken into account the situation is much worse. Regarding
programmes for the outlying regions whose development is lagging furthest behind (Epiruc, the northern
Aegean, western Macedonia) the take-up rate is situated between 2 and 2,7 %.

What precise figures does the Commission have regarding total take-up for the third CSF in Greece?
In which regions of Greece is it highest and which projects are involved? Is there any danger, and if so
how great, of forfeiting unused Community funds? What representations have been made by the
Commission to the Greek authorities with a view to accelerating the take-up of funds under the third CSF?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(23 January 2003)

The figures on the absorption of funds under CSF III given by the statements of payments submitted by
Greece under Article 32 of Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 (1) show that, of a total of EUR 21 950 100 000
for the whole programming period, by October 2002 EUR 3 452 760 000, or 15,7 %, had been paid. After
deducting the 7 % advance, actual implementation was about 8,7 %. However, more recent figures from the
national authorities put actual implementation in December 2002 at about 10,9 %.

The Commission has no figures on the absorption rates for individual projects because payments are
calculated by measure rather than at a lower level. However, this information is available in the ‘Ergorama’
national monitoring system.

At present the regional operational programmes for the southern Aegean, the Ionian Islands and western
Greece are the ones which have the highest implementation rates.

As regards the risk of a loss of funds, the ‘n+2’ rule will apply for the first time in Greece at the end of
2003. At the meeting of the CSF Monitoring Committee in spring 2002, Greece identified certain
operational programmes which required careful monitoring, although loss of funding was not certain at
this stage. The situation will be reviewed in partnership with Greece early in 2003 and if necessary
appropriate steps will be taken to correct this problem.

The Commission has also begun a dialogue with the Member States on the simplification of procedures,
mainly to speed up the pace of using Community funding.

(1) Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds (OJ L 161,