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18.4.

2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 113 E/127

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(16 October 2000)

Rearing breeding animals is an important activity in the bovine sector in its own right but, certain specific
features apart, is closely tied to the prevailing general economic situation of the beef and milk industries.
The production decisions taken by breeding cattle rearers are therefore greatly influenced by market
prospects in these industries and as an activity linked to them it is also affected by decisions and measures
adopted for them. Rearers of breeding cattle receive the Community premiums (including the suckler cow
and slaughter premiums) and are subject to the impact of decisions on the export refund.

1. Exports of breeding cattle are helping develop the structure of milk production in many European
countries, in North Africa and in the Middle East. The Commission has accordingly several times organised
or participated in programmes for delivering animals to certain countries. The primary contribution of
these exports is to sustain quality development in the agriculture of the countries of destination. Their
effect on the beef market situation in the Community is not of identical importance. International trade in
breeding cattle depends mainly on factors relating to milk production in the purchasing countries and is
not directly linked to the situation in the Community.

2. This year constitutes for the bovine sector the first stage in execution of the decisions, adopted under
Agenda 2000, to reduce prices substantially but offset this by granting premiums to producers. Moreover
the market situation this year has been marked by very high producer prices as a result of lower
production and improved consumption, the result being a fall in quantities available for exportation. The
cumulative effects of these factors has forced the Commission to act several times already on the level of
the export refund.

3. It must however be noted that when these decisions on the level of the refund were taken the
specific position of breeding cattle exporters was taken into account. Thus when the successive reductions
in refund rates for breeding cattle were made the reduction was much smaller than that decided on for
slaughter cattle. The latest modification of the refunds (2 September) did not affect breeding animals.

The Commission will continue to monitor the export refund question with similar care.

It remains of the opinion that particularly for breeding cattle price levels are not the only determinant of
whether or not trade occurs. Other factors (third country buying policies, availability of funds, genetic and
other qualities of the animals etc.) intervene.

4. A decision to return the refund to its 1999 level (minus the slaughter premium) could not be
defended as compatible with the reform adopted.

(2001/C 113 E/129) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2593/00


by Fernando Fernández Martín (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(1 August 2000)

Subject: IRELA

During his appearance before the Committee on Development and Cooperation at its meeting in
Strasbourg in June 2000, Mr Patten, Commissioner responsible for Foreign Affairs, gave a comprehensive
and excellent report on his plans for the reform of the Commission’s services responsible for external
relations and the management of foreign aid.
C 113 E/128 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.4.2001

Nevertheless, some of the questions which I put to him during the debate were not answered, doubtless
owing to lack of time.

With a view to a more leisurely answer in writing, on the subject of IRELA (Institute for Relations with
Latin America), what plans does Mr Patten have regarding its viability and objectives, particularly bearing
in mind its scant economic resources, as a result of which its staff  officials and contract staff  have not
received their salaries since January 2000?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(11 September 2000)

The 10 July 2000 General Affairs Council endorsed a proposal to create an informal ad hoc working
group, consisting of representatives of the Presidency assisted by the Secretariat, the Commission, the
Parliament and interested Member States. The aim of that working group is to find a solution to the
problems confronting the Instituto de Relaciones Europeo  Latino americanas (IRELA) and it would be an
appropriate forum to discuss IRELA’s future legal basis and income sources, pulling together support from
all parties involved.

Pending the result of the working group’s discussion, the Commission naturally cannot advance a position
on the future structure of IRELA or its income sources. Nevertheless the Commission is committed to a
permanent solution and believes the working group should be established and start its activities as soon as
possible.

Concerning IRELA’s staff, the Commission is aware that IRELA’s experts have continued to run the
Institute over the last few months regardless of its financial problems. IRELA has not diversified its income
sources in order to ensure the continuity of the Institute and the working stability of its staff. The
Commission regrets the present situation, especially taking into account the quality of IRELA’s work.

In any case, IRELA was created as an independent institution and the Commission cannot and should not
intervene in its personnel policy.

In the framework of the activities of the above mentioned working group, the Commission is open to
discuss any solution with regard to IRELA’s staff, within the existing financial rules framework.

(2001/C 113 E/130) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2594/00


by Fernando Fernández Martín (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(1 August 2000)

Subject: MEDA programme

During his appearance before the Committee on Development and Cooperation at its meeting in
Strasbourg in June 2000, Mr Patten, Commissioner responsible for Foreign Affairs, gave a comprehensive
and excellent report on his plans for the reform of the Commission’s services responsible for external
relations and the management of foreign aid.

Nevertheless, some of the questions which I put to him during the debate were not answered, doubtless
owing to lack of time.

With a view to a more leisurely answer in writing, on the subject of the European Union MEDA
programme in the Kingdom of Morocco, which currently stands at only 25 % of the total resources
available, what measures might be adopted in the future, in the short and medium term, in order to
remedy this situation, which is preventing the achievement of a strategic objective set by the Union with
regard to development cooperation and, even more seriously, is preventing the Kingdom of Morocco and
its citizens from reaping the benefits of this cooperation?