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C 155 E/12 Official Journal of the European Union EN 3.7.

2003

The Commission does not agree that the proposals mentioned in the question (1) exclude in a large way
Member State competence, on the contrary: Framework Decisions oblige Member States to take the
necessary national measures to meet the degree of approximation of laws and regulations as provided for
by a specific instrument. Framework Decisions can in this sense be compared with Directives as set up by
Article 249 TCE for areas falling under the EC Treaty. A Directive shall be binding, ‘as to the result to be
achieved, upon each Member State to which it is addressed, but shall leave to the national authorities the
choice of form and methods’. However, unlike Directives, Framework Decisions cannot entail direct effect.
A further important difference between these two legal instruments is that if Commission considers that a
Member State has failed to fulfil an obligation imposed by a Framework Decision, it cannot start an
infringement procedure under Article 226 EC Treaty, as is the case for Directives.

However, in case Member States disagree regarding the interpretation or the application of a Framework
Decision, such a dispute could be brought before the Court of Justice under the conditions set out in
Article 35(7) of the TUE.

As regard the Honourable Member’s request to receive copy of the Legal Service’s opinions on the subject,
this will be dealt with in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (2).

(1) In the meantime, the Council adopted on 13 June 2002 the Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant
and the surrender procedures between Member States  OJ L 190, 18.7.2002.
(2) OJ L 145, 31.5.2001.

(2003/C 155 E/013) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2321/02


by Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE)
and Ioannis Marínos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 July 2002)

Subject: Council of Europe report concerning public service corruption in Greece

A report by Council of Europe inspectors regarding public service corruption in Greece, reveals that major
financial interests and politics are largely interwoven, thereby ‘encouraging corrupt practices’. The authors
of the report spent a long period in Greece visiting numerous Greek official bodies and public companies.
They indicate that Community funding and major property development projects relating to the 2004
Olympics also provide a hotbed of corruption and that such practices also occur on a large scale at
international level, probably involving organised crime (illegal immigration, prostitution, falsification of
temporary residence permits for foreigners, etc.).

Is the Commission aware of the content of this report? What view does it take of public service corruption
in Greece? What information does it have regarding the corrupt use of Community funds in Greece and
how does the situation compare with that of other Member States receiving similar Community funding
with a view to achieving economic convergence?

Answer given by Mrs Schreyer on behalf of the Commission

(15 October 2002)

It appears the Honourable Members make reference to the evaluation of Greece by the Group of States
against Corruption (GRECO), a peer review mechanism under the auspices of the Council of Europe.
Greece was evaluated during a visit of examiners from Portugal and Slovenia in November 2001. GRECO
adopted the report of the visit at its ninth plenary meeting in May 2002. However, the Greek authorities
have still not lifted the confidentiality of the report and GRECO has not yet made it publicly available on
its website. Therefore, the Commission is unable to make further comments on it.
3.7.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 155 E/13

Secondly, the Commission assures the Honourable Members of its determination to prevent and to combat
all forms of corruption at all levels within the Union and inside the European institutions. The Union
policy against corruption is mainly based on criminal law instruments adopted under Title VI of the Treaty
on European Union (1) (ex-article K.3 of the Maastricht Treaty). Greece has ratified all three of these anti-
corruption instruments. However, it is not the Commission’s role to establish lists or indices showing the
degree of corruption in certain Member States, mindful that such lists can only be subjective impressions
depending on the parameters and indicators used for these purposes. However, useful information on this
topic can be found in the Organised Crime Situation Report established annually by Europol.

Concerning the alleged corrupt use of Community funds in Greece, the sectoral regulations as well as the
horizontal regulations regarding protection of the European Communities financial interests, require the
Member States to forward to the Commission (OLAF) information considered pertinent which the Member
States hold relating to the fight against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activity affecting the
Communities’ financial interests. The Member States are not, however, required to transmit to the
Commission (OLAF) information on matters regarding corruption of national public officials, as such
actions constitute an infraction of national law. Current officials of OLAF are not aware of having received
any information regarding the corrupt use of community funds in Greece. The Commission is therefore
not able to carry out a comparative study as it does not have the necessary elements to do so.

In this context the Commission would like to draw the attention of the Honourable Members to the
Commission’s annual report on protection of the Communities’ financial interests and fight against fraud (2)
which gives useful general information, inter alia, on investigations in the area of structural funds and
cohesion funds, as well as an overview of the anti-fraud measures taken by the Member States.

Lastly, for the 2000-2006 programme period, Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 of 21 June 1999
laying down the general provisions on the Structural Funds (3) provides for the creation of reinforced
structures for planning, follow-up and verification in order to improve the utilisation of these Funds.

(1) (First) Protocol to the Convention on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests (PIF-
Convention) of 27 September 1996, the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the
European Communities or officials of Member States of the European Union of 26 May 1997 and the Second
Protocol to the PIF-Convention of 19 June 1997.
(2) COM(2002) 348.
(3) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999, p. 1.

(2003/C 155 E/014) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2322/02


by Nirj Deva (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 July 2002)

Subject: Funding of the European Movement

The European Movement is in receipt of funds from the European Communities budget.

1. Can the Commission identify under the budget lines of the past three years what monies have been
made available to:

(a) each national office of the European Movement,

(b) the European Movement International Secretariat,

(c) each national branch of the Young European Movement (YEM),

(d) Agora,

(e) other European Movement elements?