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10.7.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 161 E/121

The Commission would also like to remind the Honourable Member that, under the rules in force, in order
to combat the consequences of the disaster the Spanish Government has the option of using a number of
ERDF and Cohesion Fund appropriations already allocated to Spain for 2000-2006.

The Commission would like to take this opportunity to inform the Honourable Member that to date the
Spanish authorities have told us only that they wish to use measure 3.5 (‘Actuaciones medioambientales en
costas’) of the operational programme (OP) Galicia 2000-2006, allocated with ERDF aid of
EUR 64 516 472, to undertake cleaning work.

On 14 January 2003 the Commission received an official request from the Spanish authorities to mobilise
the Solidarity Fund for aid to pay the costs of cleaning the Galician coast soiled by oil slicks following the
shipwreck of the Prestige. The Commission is examining the implementation of their request on the basis
of the information received, and will respond as soon as possible in accordance with the rules.

(1) Council Regulation (EC) No 2372/2002 of 20 December 2002 instituting specific measures to compensate the
Spanish fisheries, shellfish industry and aquaculture, affected by the oil spills from the Prestige, OJ L 358,
31.12.2002.
(2) Council Regulation (EC) No 2792/1999 of 17 December 1999 laying down the detailed rules and arrangements
regarding Community structural assistance in the fisheries sector, OJ L 337, 30.12.1999.
(3) OJ L 344, 28.12.2001.
(4) COM(2002) 681 final.
(5) COM(2002) 780 final.

(2003/C 161 E/123) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3639/02


by Daniel Hannan (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(17 December 2002)

Subject: Aid to Tuscany

Can the Commission confirm that EUR 322 million has been allocated to Tuscany by the EU for 2002-
2006 for the establishment of small and medium-sized businesses? Can the Commission account for all
this money? Does the Commission have any knowledge of a project to build a large polyurethane foam
factory near Crossetto using this money? There is concern that the company which is building this factory
should not have had access to EU funds in this area, coming as it does from another region, and that the
compulsory purchase of land from locals was consequently illegal (justified only by virtue of the theoretical
entitlement to EU funding). Can the Commission allay fears that this is the case?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(30 January 2003)

By decision of 27 September 2001 (1), the Commission adopted the single programming document (SPD)
for Tuscany for 2000-2006, which includes funding totalling EUR 1 113,57 million. Community assistance
for this programme amounts to EUR 322,5 million. The SPD for Tuscany contains 27 measures, of which
only six can be regarded as directly addressed to small and medium-sized firms.

These six measures provide for investment totalling EUR 366,07 million, of which EUR 87,18 million
(23,82 %) will come from the Community.

It should be noted that, while the Commission approves the measures in the SPD, the choice of projects is
strictly a matter for the region. The Commission is informed of the use of funds under the SPD through a
system of national, regional and local monitoring; furthermore, a report on implementation is prepared
each year and twice a year the Commission receives progress reports at the Monitoring Committee
meetings. At the present stage of implementation of the SPD, no project like the one referred to has
C 161 E/122 Official Journal of the European Union EN 10.7.2003

received Community part-finance. However, the Commission has asked the managing authorities for
clarification on the point raised by the Honourable Member

Community programmes finance projects which must be located in assisted areas, in this case, an
Objective 2 area. However, the head office of the firm may be located in an assisted area other than the
one receiving the aid in question. The main point is that the programme should help part-finance projects
which actually create economic activity and work in the assisted area.

(1) Commission Decision 2002/723/EC of 27 September 2001 approving the single programming document for
Community structural assistance under Objective 2 in the region of Tuscany in Italy, OJ L 241, 9.9.2002.

(2003/C 161 E/124) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3654/02


by Rosa Miguélez Ramos (PSE) to the Commission

(18 December 2002)

Subject: Black tide in Galicia: US legislation

Community legislation on the transport of dangerous and polluting goods is supposed to be similar to the
US legislation introduced after the Exxon Valdez accident, which has prevented such an accident from
recurring. European legislation, which is less stringent than that in North America despite the series of
major disasters along our coasts, was not able to prevent our coastline, its inhabitants and certain
economic sectors from being seriously affected by the black tide caused by the Prestige oil tanker.

Many experts believe that it is not sufficient to legislate and that it is necessary to implement a surveillance
and control system, as the Americans have done, which would be capable of obliging vessels to comply
with Community requirements, and to set up a European coastguard system similar to that introduced by
the Americans following the adoption of the Oil Shipping Act.

What initiatives will the Commission take in order to ensure that the Member States bring the provisions
contained in the Erika I and Erika II packages of legislation into force more quickly, and also to round off
that legislation with flanking measures based on the lessons which this disaster holds for all of us,
legislators and those responsible in the various governments?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(17 February 2003)

The Commission considers that when comparing the different systems, it is necessary to analyse the
policies of the United States and the Union in the light of their geographic position.

Following the disaster resulting from the shipwreck of the oil tanker Prestige off the coast of Galicia, the
Commission seized the opportunity offered by the awareness of the risks involved in the transport of
heavy fuel by sea to ask the Member States for the swift application of the Erika I and Erika II packages of
legislation and to propose new measures.

In this context, the Commission adopted on 3 December 2002 (1) a communication on action to be taken
following the shipwreck of the oil tanker Prestige. In its conclusions, the Transport Council of 6 December
2002 supported the Commission’s initiatives designed to prevent the recurrence of this type of disaster and
to counter its consequences. Finally, the European Council of Copenhagen of 12 and 13 December 2002
recognised the Commission’s diligence and welcomed the action initiated by this institution to deal with
the consequences of the shipwreck.