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1999 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 320/25

(1999/C 320/033) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3111/98

by Lissy Gröner (PSE) to the Commission

(16 October 1998)

Subject: Simplification of procedures for applying to the Commission for funds

The excessively lengthy time taken to process an application for EU funding for the Interlit 4 International
Literature Days in Erlangen has highlighted once again the complex and cumbersome procedures followed by
the Commission. Ever since 1994, the applicants had carefully and systematically gone the rounds of all the
relevant bodies to obtain support for their application, which required a substantial outlay of time and

It was only by virtue of very thrifty management that it was possible to hold the International Literature Days
in Autumn 1997 despite the lack of EU support. Meanwhile, the Interlit application was rejected by the
Commission, unofficially and by word of mouth. The organisers have still not received an official written
rejection of their application from the Commission and a clear explanation of its decision.

1. On what grounds was the application for funding turned down, despite the favourable assessment it had
previously received?

2. Why did the applicants not receive a formal rejection?

3. What means does the Commission intend to adopt to simplify the application procedure and to make
the processing of applications more transparent and speedy?

Answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission

(4 December 1998)

Under Decision No 2085/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 October 1997 establishing a
programme of support, including translation, in the field of books and reading (Ariane) (1), the selection
procedure operates in two stages.

Firstly, at the preselection stage, the Commission seeks to ensure that the files presented meet the formal
criteria of eligibility for the programme as set out in the invitation to tender published in the Official Journal.

Secondly, Article 5 of the Decision establishing the Ariane programme requires the Commission to submit to
the Committee the selection rules and criteria together with details of financial support granted to the projects
selected. The Committee met on 3 October 1997. In order to select projects, the Commission will be assisted
by a group of independent experts in the cultural field, who will express their opinion on the artistic and
cultural merit of the applications.

1. The Commission regrets to inform the Honourable Member that, although the project in question passed
the formal preselection stage, it was not accepted in the final selection.

2. Project leaders were officially informed of the results of the 1997 Ariane programme at the beginning of
1998. Meanwhile, following the meeting of the Programme Committee, the Commission, at the request of the
parties concerned, informed them orally that their projects had not been selected.

3. The Commission would draw the attention of the Honourable Member to the fact that it is duty-bound to
apply the selection rules laid down in Decision No 2085/97/EC (2). It applies these rules in all rigour and

(1) OJ L 291, 24.10.1997.

(2) OJ C 136, 1.5.1997.