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2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 170 E/129

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(18 November 1999)

The Commission feels that the question raised by the Honourable Member is primarily a matter for the
Member State concerned, which is responsible for justice on its territory. Under Title IV of the EC Treaty,
measures may be taken to facilitate cooperation in criminal matters. Work is currently under way on
finalising a Convention on mutual assistance between the Member States in criminal matters (1). When the
Convention enters into force, it should simplify and speed up cooperation, irrespective of the crimes or
infringements being prosecuted. For its part, the Commission has no plans to take any initiative in this
context relating specifically to counter-espionage.

(1) OJ C 251, 2.9.1999.

(2000/C 170 E/154) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1933/99

by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(4 November 1999)

Subject: Progress in implementing the operational programme concerning education and initial training
under the Community Support Framework for Greece

From the Commission’s answer to one of my previous questions (1) it emerged that there were problems
involved in implementing the operational programme concerning education and initial training under the
Community Support Framework for Greece and that appropriations were moving very slowly. Can the
Commission say what the current take-up rate of scheduled appropriations is? Have the problems
associated with the implementation of the programme been overcome and, if not, to what are such long
delays attributable?

(1) H-411/97, Debates of the European Parliament (June 1997).

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(2 December 1999)

There has been considerable recent acceleration in the implementation of the operational programme
(OP) in question.

As far as the European social fund is concerned, 100 % of the planned appropriations have now been
committed and 78,86 % have already been paid to Greece. The European regional development fund
(ERDF) has committed 82 % and paid 48 % of the planned ERDF credits. All ERDF credits will be
committed before 31 December 1999.

All national legal commitments have to be undertaken by the end of 1999, while implementation can
continue until December 2001. A final internal reprogramming of the OP ‘Education and initial training’
will be made in this year, with a view to correcting programming and ensuring full absorption of all
available credits.

Most of the problems of the past, which had seriously delayed the financial implementation of the
programme, seem to have been overcome.

(2000/C 170 E/155) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1940/99

by Isidoro Sánchez García (ELDR) to the Commission
(4 November 1999)

Subject: Measures implementing the new ultraperipheral policy pursuant to Article 299(2) of the Amster-
dam Treaty

Implementing Article 299(2) of the Amsterdam Treaty, the new legal basis of the arrangements for
integrating the ultraperipheral regions, will require a considerable initial effort, coordination of the various
services involved, and ongoing adaptation of the arrangements to match Community policies as they
develop in the future.