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16. 6.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 187/15

Should enlargement have taken place by that time, the necessary calculations would be made on the basis of data
for the enlarged Community. Given present Commission forecasts for economic growth and assuming that all six
countries in respect of which the Commission has proposed to open accession negotiations were to become
members by 2003, Spain should even on that basis still be eligible for Cohesion fund support. The Honourable
Member’s questions refer to situations in which only individual candidates or small groups of them accede by
2003. This is not the basis of the Commission’s financial calculations in Agenda 2000. Such hypothetical
situations would, however, be no less favourable to Spain.

The 45 000 MECU proposed by the Commission for structural measures in favour of the Central and Eastern
European countries (CEECs) include an allocation for Cohesion fund type measures. Therefore the budget of
20 000 MECU for the Cohesion fund proposed in Agenda 2000 would be divided only between the present
Member States fulfilling the eligibility criteria. Spain’s future allocation will thus depend on its position
compared to the other recipients among the present Member States.

(1) OJ L 130, 25.5.1994.

(2) COM(97) 2000 final.

(98/C 187/23) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3482/97

by Panayotis Lambrias (PPE) to the Commission
(31 October 1997)

Subject: Involvement of private individuals in monitoring the application of Community law

The Commission has acknowledged on numerous occasions that the application of Community law calls for
vigilance on the part of private individuals, bringing matters to the attention of the Union’s Institutions by
exercising their right to complain to the relevant administrative services. However, in the past, the volume of
complaints has led to administrative failings in investigating the problems involved. Will the Commission,
therefore, say whether it has planned to take a more systematic approach so that individuals’ rights in this respect
are not undermined?

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(18 December 1997)

Complaints from individuals are certainly one of the main sources on which the Commission bases itself when
monitoring the application of Community law (the Honourable Member is referred to Annex I, Table 1.1 of the
annual reports on monitoring the application of Community law).

On the other hand, the Commission does not know which case the Honourable Member has in mind when he
speaks of ‘administrative failings in investigating the problems involved’ and of ensuring that ‘individuals’
rights in this respect are not undermined’.

Every complaint lodged with the Commission is duly recorded and examined.

Infringement proceedings are initiated in all cases where the examination of a complaint leads the Commission to
suspect that a Member State is in breach of the Community rules. Only where no such suspicions are warranted
does the Commission consider the matter closed and inform the complainant accordingly.

(98/C 187/24) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3502/97

by Eryl McNally (PSE) to the Commission
(10 November 1997)

Subject: Bribery in EU Member States

In 1985 in Abidjan, a British man employed by BT was murdered; evidence associated with his murder indicates
that the aid project he was working on was being subjected to corrupt practice.
C 187/16 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 16. 6. 98

Given the differences that exist in the standards of commercial conduct operating within the EU, what can the
European Union do to ensure that all Member States discourage bribery and corruption by firms operating within
their territories and in their international operations? What can the European Union do to encourage all Member
States to make bribery a criminal and civil offence, and to end tax breaks for bribery?

Answer given by Mr Pinheiro on behalf of the Commission

(15 January 1998)

The Commission is giving its full attention to the problem raised by the Honourable Member. It sent a
communication to the Council and Parliament in May 1997 on ‘a Union policy against corruption’ (1), the aim of
which is to frame an anti-corruption strategy both within and outside the Community. It analyses the problems of
corruption and criminal law and the tax deductibility of bribes and proposes practical measures. In addition it
addresses the peculiar problems of corruption in external aid and cooperation.

In its development cooperation policy the Commission is continuing work on combating corruption, notably by
preparing a communication on good governance as part of the implementation of Article 5 of the fourth Lomé
Convention and by seeking to strengthen the anti-corruption clauses in the Commission’s contractual links with
aid recipients and bodies implementing aid programmes. This work is being coordinated by the OECD, the
World Bank and the IMF. A Council common position of 6 October 1997 was adopted on the strength of
Article K3 on the Treaty of European Union concerning negotiations on corruption within the Council of Europe
and the OECD (2). The negotiation of an OECD convention on the fight against corruption by foreign officials in
international commercial transactions, was completed on 20 November 1997.

(1) COM (97) 192 final.

(2) OJ L 279, 13.10.1997.

(98/C 187/25) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3529/97

by José Barros Moura (PSE) to the Commission
(12 November 1997)

Subject: The Pintasilgo report

In his reply to my Written Question E-2402/97 (1) Commissioner Flynn has failed to answer question 2 on
whether the proposals set out in the Pintasilgo report have had any substantial impact on EU social policy. Will
he now rectify this omission?

(1) OJ C 82, 17.3.1998, p. 70.

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(8 January 1998)

The Commission wishes to inform the Honourable Member that it will continue in 1998 its reflections on the
future of fundamental rights at Community level. This work will certainly take into account the recommenda-
tions drafted by the committee chaired by Mrs Pintasilgo.