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C 69 E/146 Official Journal of the European Union EN 19.3.

2004

Thursday 19 June 2003

33. Asks the Commission to initiate a review of the provisions of Unclos (Article 91(1)) that deal with
the link between ships and their country of registration, in order to address the problems of ships
registered under flags of convenience;

34. Welcomes the development of the ‘Clean Ship’ approach, which focuses on vessel design, construc-
tion and operation, in order to eliminate harmful discharges and emissions throughout a vessel’s working
life, addressing all vessel operations and possible impacts on the environment and involving recycling,
waste prevention and closed-loop processes (Objective 9);

35. Urges the Council and the Commission to make full and prompt use of the new opportunities to
improve fisheries management that were included in the new Basic Regulation EC No 2371/2002 (1),
agreed in the December 2002 Council meeting;

36. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments
of the Member States and candidate states, and to all relevant marine authorities.

(1) OJ L 358, 31.12.2002, p. 59.

P5_TA(2003)0296

ISPA (2001)

European Parliament resolution on the Commission’s annual report on the Instrument for
structural policy for pre-accession (ISPA) 2001 (COM(2002) 596  C5-0025/2003  2003/
2021(INI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Commission report (COM(2002) 596  C5-0025/2003),

 having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism and the
opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy
and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Equal Opportunities (A5-0199/2003),

A. whereas enlargement is no longer just a prospect or a challenge but a reality with which the EU and
the new Member States will have to come to terms extremely quickly,

B. whereas virtually all the applicant countries are still way behind with the task of creating the adminis-
trative apparatus needed for the purpose of administering Community funds,

C. whereas the general public’s democratic support for the enlargement process depends directly upon
the perceived transparency and sound administration of the process,

D. whereas at the end of 2001 payments (almost exclusively in the form of advances) in respect of ISPA
projects amounted to virtually EUR 200 million, i.e. less than 20 % of the funds committed,

1. Welcomes the Commission’s annual report on ISPA fund management for 2001;

2. Notes with satisfaction the corrections which (partly in response to Parliament’s requests) the Com-
mission has made regarding various points relating to ISPA management in 2000; also notes that, by
comparison with the 2000 programming year, there was a major increase in the funding allocated to
ISPA projects following approval of a significant number of such projects;
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3. Welcomes the high level of attention which the Commission is paying to the analysis of financial
control in the candidate countries, and supports the proposals for further improvements referred to in the
ISPA annual report;

4. Hopes that the Commission will be able to ensure that a financial and procedural monitoring scheme
is swiftly introduced, so that information can be provided in respect of individual projects, as well as by
sector and by Member State concerned;

5. Notes the teething problems affecting management of the ISPA  a programme which, although
required to follow strict Community procedures, has had to be adapted to suit the radically different
circumstances of the new Member States;

6. Notes with concern the comments relating to the persistent problems encountered in the fund com-
mitment procedures and finds it disturbing that, with regard to ISPA fund management, the Commission
continues to take a cautious and rather uneasy view of the inadequacy of the applicant countries’ adminis-
trative structures and the lack of preparation on the part of the staff responsible for fund management;

7. Points out that payments relating to project implementation are modest in the extreme and virtually
always take the form of (mainly very small) advances;

8. Highlights the problem (which is likely to become a serious one as enlargement approaches) of the
ability of the future Member States to absorb Community funds; calls upon the Commission to press, in
negotiations, for administrative capacity to be preserved and strengthened and for coordination to be
ensured between the specialist administrative services in the applicant countries;

9. Is concerned at the fact that such difficulties appear to stem in virtually all cases from the inefficiency
of the applicant countries’ administrative structures or from those countries’ lack of familiarity with
Community procedures; calls upon the Commission to use the assistance for improving administration in
such a way as to strengthen the decentralised structures, build up experience with partnership mechanisms
and improve tendering procedure mechanisms;

10. Believes that the Commission is right to ask for additional staff to work on training assignments
with the administrations in the new Member States, with a view to meeting administrative and manage-
ment requirements;

11. Is aware that the response to such problems should be in strict compliance with the relevant
Community procedures relating in particular to internal auditing (still deficient), to bodies responsible for
carrying out checks and to accounting systems;

12. Urges maximum simplification of the ISPA management procedures in accordance with the general
principle that any stage in the bureaucratic process which is not essential to project implementation should
be dispensed with;

13. Calls upon the Commission to draw up, in connection with the ISPA budgets for the next few
years, realistic spending programmes which are compatible with the applicant counties’ actual ability to
absorb funds, partly in order to prevent an uncontrolled increase in funds which are committed but not
used;

14. Considers it crucial in this connection that the Commission should ensure that the IPSA participat-
ing countries provide their proper share of co-funding for projects;

15. Welcomes the recourse to forms of partnership with international financial bodies (EIB, EBRD,
Nordic Investment Bank) as a source of co-funding for ISPA projects, not least on account of the fact
that such bodies are able to share their experience of cross-border project management;

16. Calls upon the Commission to make every effort to secure maximum involvement on the part of
private forces and funds, so that the Community contribution can genuinely constitute ‘value added’ to the
action taken by the individual Member States and act as a catalyst capable of generating development;
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17. Calls upon the Commission to do its utmost to guard against the danger that public-private part-
nerships, although necessary and to be welcomed, may lead to irregularities or to the illegal funding of
private companies;

18. Regrets the lack of data and figures relating to technical assistance projects and to the impact and
the results thereof, and considers this aspect of the ISPA to be of strategic importance as enlargement
approaches;

19. Calls upon the Commission in the immediate future to make every effort to implement technical
assistance projects, in the firm belief that skills at that level are essential to the future management of
Community funds;

20. Firmly supports the Commission’s efforts to ensure, in connection with all ISPA projects, that the
applicant countries carry out environmental impact assessment, since it considers such assessment to be an
essential universal feature of Community fund-management ‘culture’ which the new Member States must
adopt without fail;

21. Acknowledges the criticism of Council Regulation (EC) No 1267/1999 of 21 June 1999 establishing
an Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-accession (1), by local authorities and regions from the candi-
date countries, to the effect that now in the second phase the only sensible way to use appropriations in
the environmental field efficiently appears to be by grouping smaller projects together; welcomes the fact
that the Commission has already reacted to this and calls on it to give greater encouragement to the
grouping of projects in order to make it possible to network the planning, economy, efficiency and sus-
tainability of projects;

22. Notes that the balance between expenditure on transport projects and environmental projects has
improved, but that, in the field of transport, the pan-European networking of rail transport must still be
given more consideration in line with the EU’s priorities;

23. Calls for consideration to be given in future to the merits of devising procedures which will prevent
such a slow start to programme management at the opening stages of the programming period;

24. Calls once again (not only in connection with ISPA projects) for the quality of expenditure to be
closely assessed and for the inherent value of individual projects to be considered, this being Parliament’s
main parameter for judging the effectiveness of the entire programme;

25. Wishes to highlight the crucial importance of integrating a gender perspective in all ISPA pro-
grammes, as well as in the PHARE and the Sapard programmes;

26. Stresses that the Structural Funds are the main EU tools for re-distribution of resources between
regions and between different groups in the population; as such, the Structural Funds can be viewed as key
instruments to achieve the Community goal of equality between women and men established in the Treaty;
the Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession (ISPA) should be viewed in exactly the same way;

27. Emphasises that the Structural Funds’ regulations identify gender mainstreaming, besides specific
gender equality actions, as the principal means of achieving the gender equality objectives, and that this
should be equally important in the ISPA instrument, as well as in the PHARE and the Sapard programmes;

28. Stresses that this means that gender equality should be a horizontal objective for these programmes,
so that gender equality is integrated at all stages in the programming, from the analysis and definition of
objectives through to their monitoring and evaluation;

29. Welcomes in this regard the continuous dialogue with NGOs and advocates that gender equality
NGOs be consulted and benefit from collaboration as regards the gender mainstreaming aspects;

30. Highlights the need for the development of gender impact assessments, and regrets that such assess-
ments have not been carried out in connection with the Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-accession
(ISPA);

(1) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999, p. 73.


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31. Finally, recommends that the Commission carry out a gender mainstreaming analysis on two pro-
jects that receive ISPA funding (preferably one concerned with transport and one concerned with environ-
mental matters) to assess and analyse how such an approach could be institutionalised throughout the
ISPA programme.

32. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

P5_TA(2003)0297

Reduction in discards of fish

European Parliament resolution on the communication from the Commission to the Council and
the European Parliament on a Community Action Plan to reduce discards of fish (COM(2002) 656
 2003/2036(INI)

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Commission communication (COM(2002) 656),

 having regard to its resolution of 28 January 1999 on the problem of fish discards (1),

 having regard to Rule 47(2) and Rule 163 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A5-0163/2003),

A. whereas fish is an important natural source of food and a public commodity,

B. having regard to Article 7 (7.2.2.g) of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, according
to which management objectives should include the introduction of measures so that ‘pollution, waste,
discards, catch by lost or abandoned gear, catch of non-target species, both fish and non-fish species,
and impacts on associated or dependent species are minimised, through measures including, to the
extent practicable, the development and use of selective, environmentally safe and cost-effective fishing
gear and techniques’,

C. whereas the FAO has estimated the volume of fish discards within commercial fisheries at between
17,9 and 39,5 million tonnes worldwide (2), which far exceeds the EU’s total fisheries production
(catches and aquaculture) of 7,8 million tonnes (3),

D. whereas the optimal supply of fish depends on the fish being allowed to grow and spawn before they
are caught,

E. whereas some stocks have been reduced to a critical level partly as a result of catching and discarding
juvenile fish at sea, and whereas overall reductions in fishing effort on many fish stocks would help
not only in stock recovery but also in the reduction of discards,

F. whereas there is a clear link between the selectivity of fishing gear and the percentage of the catch
discarded; whereas, therefore, technical measures should be taken to ensure that juvenile fish can
escape the nets and considering that improvements in gear selectivity should be encouraged and
even rewarded in an appropriate way,

G. whereas aquaculture should make an increasing contribution to total fish stocks and thereby relieve
the pressure on a number of overfished species,

H. whereas discards vary according to species, time and place,

(1) OJ C 128, 7.5.1999, p. 83.


(2) FAO Fisheries technical paper 339.
(3) Facts and Figures on the CFP. (See: http://europa.eu.int/comm/fisheries/doc_et_publ/liste_publi/facts/pcp_en.pdf).