Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission
A part of the project mentioned by the Honourable Member has been effectively co-financed by the regional programme Peloponnesus 2000‑06. The problems mentioned in the question concern the railway line from Tripoli to Kalamata, as the railway line Korinthos-Tripoli is operational. Upon Commission's request the intermediary managing authority of the region of Peloponnesus informed the Commission that the project ‘Renovation of the existing railway lines: Andritsena-Kalamata, Zevgolatio-Kalo Nero, Lefktra-Megaloupolis’ is co-funded by the third Community support framework and it is a part of a larger group of projects financed by national resources. The implementing body of this sub-project is the National Railway Infrastructure Manager (EDISY). The physical object of this sub-project has been already implemented.
In application of the subsidiarity principle, Member States are responsible for selecting, managing and implementing projects of operational programmes according to the relevant regulations. Member States are not obliged to send information concerning planning and development issues of projects to the Commission, unless these are co-funded Major Projects, as foreseen under Council Regulation 1260/1999 (Article 25). The Commission will during the closure process of the programmes 2000‑06 request confirmation that the projects declared as basis for a payment are all operational, whether the assistance was properly executed and if the objectives of the programmes concerned have been attained. The Member State should undertake to complete or render operational, at its own expense, all unfinished or non-functional operations not later than two years after the deadline for submission of the closure final report for the programme concerned.
Nevertheless, the applicable Regulations 1260/1999 (Article 30, §4) provide for a minimum period of 5 years after the decision of the competent authorities on the contribution of the funds, during which the said intervention's operation should not undergo significant modifications..
Funding arrangements for infrastructure under the Structural Funds are not linked with obligations regarding transport services. Where particular passenger services cannot be operated in profitable way, the State may decide to compensate an operator on the basis of a contract(1).