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C 203 E/88 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.7.


According to the information sent to the Commission by the Greek authorities, all the appropriations
allocated to URBAN have been committed and it is therefore realistic to believe that all the appropriations
allocated to this programme will be used. However, this is not reflected in the amount of payment
appropriations, which are still relatively low as a result of the late start of the programme.

(2000/C 203 E/110) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1913/99
by Graham Watson (ELDR) to the Commission

(29 October 1999)

Subject: Imperial measurement

Will the Commission confirm that its statement of 8 February 1999 will allow loose goods to be sold in
the UK in imperial measures until the year 2010?

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(1 December 1999)

The use for trade, public health, public safety and public administration, in the Union and the European
Economic Area, of units of measurement is harmonised by Directive 80/181/EEC (1), as last amended by
Directive 89/617/EEC (2). This harmonised legislation lays down as the legal units for these uses the units
of the International System (SI), except for a small number of specific uses for which internationally used
non-SI units are allowed. The SI is the extended version of the metric system.

To allow a smooth transition to the use of the SI in the United Kingdom and Ireland, transition periods
were created for the phasing out in stages of the units from the imperial system. According to the last of
these transition periods that is still in force, the use of the units ‘ounce’ (avoirdupois) and ‘pound’ is
permitted for the sales by weight of goods, loose from bulk. This transition period comes to an end on
31 December 1999, after which date the kilogram (symbol: kg) becomes the legal unit for these trading

The statement of 8 February 1999, to which the Honourable Member refers, relates to a proposed
amendment (3) of Directive 80/181/EEC, that is currently being discussed by the Parliament and the
Council. This proposed amendment would allow the use of non-metric units (such as imperial units) in
supplementary indications for an additional ten year period (to 1 January 2010). However, while imperial
units may be used during this transitional period in supplementary indications, it should nevertheless be
emphasised that from 1 January 2000 the legal unit of measurement for the sale by by weight of goods,
loose from bulk, will be the SI unit kilogram or decimal multiples or submultiples thereof.

(1) OJ L 39, 15.2.1980.
(2) OJ L 357, 7.12.1989.
(3) COM(1999) 40 final.

(2000/C 203 E/111) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1920/99
by Michl Ebner (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(4 November 1999)

Subject: Agricultural statistics concerning funding flows in the agricultural and rural development sectors

The European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture recently drew attention to the lack of transparency
in relation to the destination and exact amount of the funds allocated by the European Union in the
individual Member States. Clear information on the subject could be provided from time to time by
unambiguous and up-to-date statistics, which should be made available to the public as promptly as
18.7.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 203 E/89

Would the Commission state, therefore:

 whether data and statistics of this kind are currently available?

 if so, where they are published at regular intervals?

 whether the Commission does not intend, otherwise, to introduce harmonised statistics and demon-
strate whether these influxes of funds have a genuine impact on rural areas; in short, to embark on a
general improvement of agricultural statistics?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(18 November 1999)

Two summary tables are being sent direct to the Honourable Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat, one
showing the trend of European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) expenditure by
Member State for both the Guarantee and Guidance Sections, and the other giving a breakdown by
chapter and Member State of EAGGF Guarantee expenditure charged against the 1998 budget.

The first table is extracted from the Report on the Agricultural Situation in the European Union and the
second from the EAGGF Guarantee Section Financial Report. These are published by the Commission
every year and are also available to the public on the Commission’s Europa site (

(2000/C 203 E/112) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1922/99
by Chris Davies (ELDR) to the Commission

(4 November 1999)

Subject: Fire safety in hotels

An EC Recommendation on Fire Safety in existing hotels (86/666/EEC (1)) was adopted in 1986.

1. What objective assessment has been undertaken of the application of these recommendations by
Member States?

2. Is the Commission satisfied that the recommendations are being implemented in full by each of the
Member States?

3. Which Member States have modified national legislation to incorporate the recommendations
regarding minimum safety standards and periodic inspections?

4. Does the Commission intent to review the need for additional measures to encourage the adoption of
minimum standards in both existing and new hotels?

(1) OJ L 384, 31.12.1986, p. 60.

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(8 December 1999)

1. In order to check that all Member States had correctly interpreted and taken into account in their
national legislation the content of Council Recommendation 86/666/EEC of 22 December 1986 on fire
safety in existing hotels (1), the Commission commissioned an independent study. The final report was
submitted in April 1996.

2. and 3. The Commission has commented on this issue in a number of answers to previous
parliamentary questions. The Honourable Member can consult in particular the answers to questions
E-1423/97 by Mrs Pollack (2) and H-1179/98 by Mr Watson during Question Time in the January 1999
part-session (3).