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Вторник, 19 февруари 2008 г. - Страсбург Редактирана версия

12. Време за въпроси (въпроси към Комисията)
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  Presidente. − Segue-se o período de perguntas (B6-0010/2008).

Foram apresentadas as seguintes perguntas à Comissão.

Primeira parte

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta nº 39 da Deputada Anne E. Jensen (H-0051/08)

Assunto: Avaliação de aeronavegabilidade por parte da AESA

No Outono de 2007, ocorreram três acidentes com aeronaves do tipo Dash8 Q400 em Aalborg, Vilnius e Copenhaga. Os relatórios provisórios das autoridades de investigação indicam que os acidentes de 9 e 12 de Setembro se deveram a defeitos de construção, conclusão que é partilhada pelas autoridades aeronáuticas escandinavas (SLV) e pela Agência Europeia para a Segurança da Aviação (AESA). O acidente de 27 de Outubro deveu-se a uma combinação de defeitos de construção e detecção dos mesmos. As autoridades aeronáuticas escandinavas proibiram o voo das aeronaves escandinavas e estabeleceram uma série de condições para que estas possam continuar a voar, mas a AESA considera que o defeito de construção em questão é pouco importante.

Pode a Comissão indicar se não é tarefa da AESA garantir um nível elevado de segurança?

Como é possível que a AESA e as autoridades aeronáuticas escandinavas avaliem este caso de forma tão diferente, quando os controlos efectuados pela companhia aérea demonstram que 16 das suas 18 aeronaves Dash8 Q400 apresentam o mesmo defeito de construção que a aeronave que aterrou de emergência em Copenhaga?

 
  
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  Jacques Barrot, vice-président de la Commission. − Je réponds volontiers à Mme Jensen.

Dans l'attente des rapports finaux des enquêtes sur les trois accidents concernant les aéronefs DASH8 Q400, la Commission considère qu'il est prématuré de spéculer sur les facteurs qui ont causé ces événements spécifiques, ainsi que sur de possibles erreurs de conception ou défauts de construction.

La tâche de l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne est bien sûr d'assurer le plus haut niveau de sécurité. L'Agence a suivi, et continue de suivre attentivement le dossier, en tenant compte du fait que 170 aéronefs de ce type particulier ont été livrés à travers le monde et sont donc en opération aujourd'hui.

Selon les informations détaillées reçues de l'Agence de la sécurité aérienne, plusieurs contacts ont eu lieu entre l'Agence, les autorités de l'aviation civile de Norvège et du Danemark, les autorités de l'aviation civile canadienne et le constructeur de l'aéronef. Ceci a conduit à un certain nombre d'actions et notamment à la publication des consignes de navigabilité de l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne prescrivant des actions correctrices.

L'évaluation détaillée du système de rétraction du train d'atterrissage de ce type d'aéronefs a amené l'Agence à conclure que la sécurité de l'aéronef n'était pas en cause. Il a donc été recommandé aux autorités scandinaves de permettre le rétablissement du certificat de navigabilité de l'aéronef après, bien sûr, avoir pris les mesures correctrices nécessaires.

Les autorités scandinaves ont informé la compagnie aérienne des conditions à remplir pour obtenir le rétablissement des certificats de navigabilité de la flotte des appareils concernés. Mais la compagnie n'a pas encore fourni les éléments probants permettant de considérer que leurs avions sont conformes aux contrôles et modifications demandés.

À ce stade, l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne n'a pas été informée du fait que les autorités danoises auraient rétabli les certificats de navigabilité pour la flotte du Q400 de SAS. Bien sûr, l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne reste en contact avec les autorités danoises pour clarifier cette question.

Voilà, Monsieur le Président, la réponse que je voulais donner à Mme Jensen.

 
  
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  Anne E. Jensen (ALDE). – Hr. formand! Jeg vil gerne sige tak til hr. næstformand Barrot for denne redegørelse. Det er rigtigt, at den uenighed, jeg har nævnt i spørgsmålet, måske delvis er blevet rettet op, men det er stadigvæk sådan, at de danske luftfartsmyndigheder ikke tillader, at SAS' fly kommer i luften, før de har fået løst de tekniske problemer, mens andre flyselskaber faktisk flyver med fly, der har disse tekniske problemer. Og jeg synes, at det dybt principielle problem her - bortset fra forskelsbehandling mellem SAS Scandinavian Airlines på den ene side og andre flyselskaber som Flybe, Augsburg, Tyrolean og Luxair på den anden side - er, at vi som borgere måske ikke kan regne med flysikkerhed. Hvad vil De gøre, hr. Barrot, for at sikre, at jeg kan være lige så tryg ved den fælles luftfartsmyndighed som ved de nationale luftfartsmyndigheder, for det er jo det, det her handler om?

 
  
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  Jacques Barrot, vice-président de la Commission. − L'Agence a donné des instructions formelles qui, si elles sont suivies, permettent la navigabilité de ces avions. Par conséquent, il n'y a pas de problème de sécurité; simplement, les autorités danoises n'ont pas notifié à l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne les réponses de la compagnie en question.

Madame Jensen, ce qui est vrai, c'est que toutes les instructions ont été données par l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne pour remédier aux difficultés qui peuvent découler de l'usage de ces appareils.

Pour le moment, l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne doit attendre les résultats des enquêtes pour prendre une position définitive, mais j'insiste sur le fait que l'Agence a évidemment donné toutes les indications pour le bon usage de ces appareils, qui n'ont d'ailleurs pas causé d'accidents impliquant des personnes mais qui, comme vous l'avez souligné, ont effectivement connu des accidents auxquels il faut remédier.

 
  
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  Jörg Leichtfried (PSE). – Herr Kommissar, die paradoxe Situation scheint jetzt zu sein, dass eine Luftsicherheitsbehörde in Europa das Fliegen verbietet, während eine andere wie beispielsweise die österreichische meint, es wäre doch möglich. Meine Frage an Sie ist: Wird sich die EASA durch die Erweiterung der Kompetenzen, die wir in diesem Bereich beschlossen haben, nun leichter tun, zumal es scheint, dass – wie Sie gesagt haben – die Firma, die diese Flugzeuge herstellt, derzeit gewisse Schwierigkeiten macht? Wenn die EASA jetzt das tun kann, was wir beschlossen haben, nämlich auch Strafen verhängen und nicht sofort die Lizenz entziehen, wird sie sich dann leichter tun? Ich meine, die EASA hätte es in Zukunft durch diese von uns beschlossene Erweiterung leichter.

 
  
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  Jacques Barrot, vice-président de la Commission. − Je précise bien que les instructions ont été données par l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne. Toutes les compagnies sont donc censées appliquer les règles qui ont été indiquées par l'Agence.

Mais votre question est plus large. Oui, l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne a des responsabilités sur la certification des avions, elle a des responsabilités pour délivrer les agréments aux organismes de conception dans le monde, mais elle ne fait que surveiller l'application uniforme des règles communes, au moyen d'inspections dans les États membres de l'Union.

Autrement dit, nous avons élargi – vous avez raison de le souligner – les compétences de l'Agence, mais pas au point où les autorités des différents États membres, les directions générales de l'aviation civile, seraient complètement sans responsabilités. Il faut, en effet, que ces États membres exercent, à travers leurs directions générales de l'aviation civile, leurs responsabilités.

Nous pourrons peut-être un jour aller plus loin, mais pour le moment déjà, l'Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne a des missions lourdes à assurer, et il faut, en effet, qu'elle puisse continuer à surveiller attentivement l'application des règles communes par des inspections dans les États membres.

En l'occurrence, je crois que l'Agence a agi dans un sens tout à fait conforme aux exigences de sécurité.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta nº 40 do Deputado Jörg Leichtfried (H-1062/07).

Assunto: Transparência nos vencimentos dos gestores de empresas

Observa-se, em toda a Europa, um aumento constante dos vencimentos dos gestores de empresas. Na Áustria, por exemplo, os vencimentos de base dos gestores aumentaram cerca de 3,7% entre 2006 e 2007. Sensivelmente mais elevado é ainda o aumento das componentes variáveis dos vencimentos dos gestores. Este aumento dos vencimentos tem suscitado um crescente interesse da opinião pública pela remuneração efectiva das actividades de gestão. Devido sobretudo ao facto de os vencimentos variáveis não figurarem nas contas anuais, os accionistas pretendem saber de que forma são utilizados os seus dinheiros. Os cidadãos europeus reivindicam assim claramente uma maior transparência nos vencimentos dos gestores de empresas.

Tem a Comissão conhecimento desta situação? Estará prevista legislação europeia para assegurar uma maior transparência nos vencimentos dos gestores de empresas ou existem já disposições legislativas neste domínio?

 
  
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  Charlie McCreevy, Member of the Commission. − Management pay is a topical issue and has been for quite some time. In reaction, the Commission has taken steps to increase transparency regarding management pay.

The Commission recommendation adopted in 2004 provides for annual disclosure regarding both the company policy on directors’ remuneration and the remuneration of individual directors. The Commission has also followed up on this recommendation by checking whether it is actually applied by Member States. We have recently made an overview of this.

The large majority of Member States have introduced high disclosure standards on the remuneration of individual executives in their national corporate governance code or in binding legislation. However, only around 60% of Member States have followed the recommendation as regards transparency on their remuneration policy. Only a very few recommend putting this to the vote in the company’s general meeting. There is scope for improvement here.

The Commission will also evaluate the extent to which companies adhere to the recommended transparency standards in practice. Remuneration is a field in which some companies have shown strong reluctance to disclose information, despite the recommendations of the national corporate governance code. We will look into this question.

 
  
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  Jörg Leichtfried (PSE). – Herr Kommissar! Sie haben selbst gesagt, 60 Prozent der Unternehmen gedenken nichts zu tun. Jetzt frage ich Sie: Was gedenkt die Kommission zu tun?

Und meine zweite Frage: Wir haben jetzt aus einem aktuellen Fall in Deutschland auch mitbekommen, dass diese Herren — es sind ja hauptsächlich Herren — nicht nur sehr gut verdienen, sondern das, was sie verdienen, auch nicht versteuern möchten und deshalb nach Liechtenstein und sonst wohin gehen. Was gedenkt die Kommission in Zukunft gegen derartige Praktiken zu unternehmen?

 
  
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  Charlie McCreevy, Member of the Commission. − In reply to both questions from the honourable Member, these are matters that should be dealt with by a Member State. In response to the question regarding what the Commission is going to do, the Commission has already done it.

My predecessor decided to make a recommendation in this particular area. Why did he decide on a recommendation rather than anything else? I have no doubt that it was for a whole variety of reasons, but primary among them would be the fact that there is no agreement on having a universal corporate governance code or company law regime in Europe. We would never be able to obtain such an agreement.

There are very many cultural differences in this whole area, and that would have been one of the reasons underpinning the decision of my predecessor to issue a recommendation in this particular regard.

With regard to the recommendation, our study has shown that the majority of Member States have introduced high disclosure standards regarding the remuneration of individual directors in the corporate governance code, and some have put it into binding legislation. The majority have also dealt with the recommendation as regards transparency on remuneration policy.

The second question regarding taxation is certainly a matter for each individual Member State to pursue in whatever way they think fit and in accordance with their national laws.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta nº 41 da Deputada Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines (H-1041/07)

Assunto: Obras de enterramento do comboio de alta velocidade espanhol (AVE) próximo da "Sagrada Família"

Como é do conhecimento público, a construção subterrânea do comboio de alta velocidade espanhol (AVE) sob o solo de Barcelona provocou vários desmoronamentos e rupturas, pondo em perigo as casas e os edifícios de superfície, entre os quais o templo da Sagrada Família e muitos outros monumentos históricos.

Como se trata de um projecto subvencionado pela UE, poderá a Comissão informar quais são os estudos de impacto ambiental efectuados (Directiva 85/337/CEE(1)) e se nos mesmos foram avaliados os riscos para a Sagrada Família e outros edifícios históricos?

Poderá a Comissão ainda informar se nos dossiers consta o estudo da "Universitat Pompeu Fabra" que desaconselha o traçado subterrâneo devido aos perigos e riscos que implica para todo o conjunto?

 
  
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  Σταύρος Δήμας, Μέλος της Επιτροπής. − Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κατ’ αρχήν θα ήθελα να υπενθυμίσω την απαρέγκλιτη θέση της Επιτροπής, ότι όποια και αν είναι η χρησιμότητα ή η αναγκαιότητα ενός έργου, δεν θα πρέπει ποτέ η εκτέλεσή του να προσβάλλει το περιβάλλον, τη δημόσια υγεία και την πολιτιστική κληρονομιά ενός κράτους μέλους.

Τα κράτη μέλη θα πρέπει να λαμβάνουν όλα τα απαραίτητα μέτρα προστασίας και διαφύλαξης της πολιτιστικής κληρονομιάς, ειδικότερα δε στα ιστορικά κέντρα των πόλεών τους, τα οποία ορισμένες φορές υποφέρουν παραπάνω από τις πιεστικές συνθήκες της αυξανόμενης αστικοποίησης.

Στη συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση, που αφορά την επερώτηση της αξιοτίμου μέλους του Κοινοβουλίου, θα ήθελα να επισημάνω τα εξής:

Ορισμένα μόνο από τα επί μέρους έργα για την κατασκευή της σιδηροδρομικής γραμμής υψηλής ταχύτητας Μαδρίτης-Σαραγόσας-Βαρκελώνης έχουν συγχρηματοδοτηθεί από το Ταμείο Συνοχής.

Το Ταμείο των Διευρωπαϊκών Δικτύων Μεταφορών συγχρηματοδοτεί την εκπόνηση μελετών σχετικά με έργα κατά μήκος ολόκληρης της σιδηροδρομικής γραμμής, μεταξύ των οποίων συμπεριλαμβάνεται και η επέκταση της γραμμής από τη Βαρκελώνη προς τις πόλεις Χερώνα και Φιγκέρας.

Ωστόσο, δεν έχουν χρηματοδοτηθεί και δεν έχουν χρησιμοποιηθεί πόροι των ευρωπαϊκών ταμείων για έργα που σχετίζονται με την υπόγεια γραμμή που περνά κάτω από τη Βαρκελώνη. Πρέπει επίσης να σημειωθεί ότι ο σχεδιασμός και η εκτέλεση των έργων αποτελεί αποκλειστική ευθύνη του κράτους μέλους το οποίο έχει την υποχρέωση να τηρεί και να εφαρμόζει αυστηρά τους σχετικούς κανόνες της κοινοτικής νομοθεσίας.

Στη συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση, δεν υπήρξε κοινοτική συγχρηματοδότηση στο έργο κατασκευής του τμήματος που συνδέει τους σταθμούς Sants και Sagrega, καθώς και της σήραγγας που θα διανοιχθεί κοντά στην εκκλησία Sagrada Familia και, ως εκ τούτου, η Επιτροπή δεν τηρήθηκε ενήμερη, ούτε έλαβε αντίγραφο της μελέτης περιβαλλοντικών επιπτώσεων την οποία έχουν εκπονήσει οι ισπανικές αρχές.

Η Επιτροπή γνωρίζει ότι η αρμόδια ισπανική αρχή, δηλαδή η Γενική Γραμματεία για την Πρόληψη της Ρύπανσης και την Κλιματική Αλλαγή, έχει εγκρίνει την μελέτη περιβαλλοντικών επιπτώσεων σύμφωνα με την απόφαση της 30ής Μαΐου 2007. Το κείμενο της απόφασης έγκρισης έχει δημοσιευθεί στην ισπανική εφημερίδα της Κυβέρνησης τον Ιούνιο του 2007. Το κείμενο, μεταξύ άλλων, περιέχει αναφορές και στις επιπτώσεις που θα έχει το έργο στην πολιτιστική κληρονομιά, όπως στην εκκλησία Sagrada Familia.

Τέλος, η Επιτροπή δεν έχει ενημερωθεί σχετικά με τη μελέτη που συνέταξε το πανεπιστήμιο "Universitat Pompeu Fabra". Οι ισπανικές αρχές είναι υπεύθυνες να λαμβάνουν υπόψη τόσο το περιεχόμενο μελετών – όπως στη συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση – όσο και την κοινή γνώμη.

Η Επιτροπή θα συνεχίσει να παρακολουθεί την κατάσταση και ελπίζουμε ότι δεν θα προκληθούν βλάβες στο ιστορικό αυτό κομμάτι του πολιτιστικού πλούτου της πόλης της Βαρκελώνης.

 
  
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  Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines (PPE-DE). – Señor Presidente, no dudo de que se hayan seguido correctamente, diríamos, con un mínimo de exigencia, los trámites legales. Acudo a la Comisión para pedirle auxilio como guardiana de los Tratados y apelo a su responsabilidad para que rehuse sus actuaciones y aplique con escrúpulo y calidad la Directiva de impacto ambiental.

El hecho de que este tramo del túnel no vaya a ser financiado por la Unión Europea no es relevante, pues todos sabemos que fraccionar los proyectos en tramos es una mala práctica que la Unión Europea a veces ha condenado.

¿Por qué no ha sido declarado el AVE un gran proyecto que exige estudios de impacto detallados, dado que sabemos que va a pasar por debajo de zonas muy delicadas como la Pedrera y, sobre todo, junto a la Sagrada Familia?

El espíritu de la Directiva EIA, artículo 3, exige la evaluación de las posibles repercusiones sobre el patrimonio cultural. El muro protector de 40 metros de profundidad que se va a construir está solo a metro y medio de la fachada de la Sagrada Familia, que pesa 40 000 toneladas.

Por otra parte, dadas las características del terreno y visto que el templo es una estructura sumamente delicada y una genialidad, pido simplemente que se escuche a las partes y que se tengan en cuenta. Me alegro mucho de que llegue el AVE, pero éste no es un tema de partidos políticos, ya que el PP cambió el trazado, y ahora realmente creo que debiera volverse a cambiar para que discurra por la calle de Valencia.

 
  
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  Σταύρος Δήμας, Μέλος της Επιτροπής. − Θα ήθελα και πάλι να τονίσω ότι η Επιτροπή δεν έχει την αρμοδιότητα να επέμβει. Βεβαίως, έχει δίκιο η αξιότιμος κυρία ευρωβουλευτής ότι πρέπει να προσέχουμε ιδιαίτερα τη διατήρηση της πολιτιστικής μας κληρονομιάς και ιδιαίτερα αυτού του αρχιτεκτονικού αριστουργήματος, αλλά μέχρι στιγμής δεν έχει τεθεί υπόψη μας ότι υπάρχει κάποιος κίνδυνος, η δε περιβαλλοντική μελέτη η οποία έχει συνταχθεί δεν έχει καταγγελθεί σε μας ότι δεν είναι σωστή.

Το μόνο το οποίο έχει έλθει στην Επιτροπή είναι στο θέμα των αιτήσεων το οποίο παρουσιάστηκε στην αρμόδια επιτροπή του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου από το Σύλλογο Llave para Litoral, τα μέλη του οποίου επιθυμούν μία διαφορετική χάραξη κατά μήκος της ακτής και όχι υπόγεια.

Αλλά αυτά είναι θέματα τα οποία οι τοπικές αρχές, οι περιφερειακές αρχές και η κεντρική κυβέρνηση θα πρέπει να επιλύσουν πάντοτε εφαρμόζοντας την οδηγία για τις μελέτες περιβαλλοντικών επιπτώσεων καθώς επίσης το χρέος το οποίο έχουν για τη διατήρηση της πολιτιστικής κληρονομιάς.

 
  
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  Maria Badia i Cutchet (PSE). – Señor Presidente, solamente quisiera añadir un poco de información y decir —quizá también para tranquilizar— que estas obras disponen de información geológica muy completa, que la técnica constructiva es adecuada a las condiciones del terreno, que se harán tratamientos preventivos previos al paso por estructuras existentes, que se llevará a cabo una auscultación permanente para detectar inmediatamente cualquier posible mínimo movimiento o asentamiento del terreno, que no se producirán afecciones a las edificaciones vecinas y que se proporcionarán garantías de transparencia en la información ciudadana.

Quiero decirle que creo que nadie como las autoridades españolas, catalanas y del Ayuntamiento tiene tanto interés en que, evidentemente, no sufran ningún daño ni este monumento histórico ni los vecinos que viven allí.

 
  
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  Σταύρος Δήμας, Μέλος της Επιτροπής. − Δεν νομίζω ότι έχω να προσθέσω τίποτα στις πληροφορίες τις οποίες μας έδωσε το αξιότιμο μέλος του Κοινοβουλίου.

 
  
  

Segunda parte

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta nº 42 da Deputada Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou (H-1049/07)

Assunto: Inclusão do grego clássico e do latim no indicador europeu de competência linguística

Dada a intenção da Comissão de adoptar um indicador europeu de competência linguística para as cinco línguas mais faladas (COM(2005)0356), pergunta-se à Comissão em que medida tenciona incluir o latim e o grego clássico no programa de aprendizagem de línguas europeias, uma vez que estas línguas são a base das línguas europeias e que delas derivam muitas palavras utilizadas por todas as línguas europeias, independentemente da sua origem?

Com base na importância dessas línguas, a União Europeia de Filólogos (Euroclassica) já procedeu à definição de níveis e à certificação do conhecimento do latim e está a trabalhar no programa correspondente para o grego clássico. A aprendizagem das duas línguas clássicas irá permitir aprofundar os fundamentos da cultura europeia e estreitar as relações entre os cidadãos europeus, e a certificação dessa competência linguística constituirá uma qualificação adicional para a sua vida profissional.

 
  
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  Leonard Orban, Membru al Comisiei. − Comunicarea Comisiei, intitulată indicatorul european de competenţă lingvistică, adoptată în 2005, a propus o abordare strategică detaliată pentru desfăşurarea unui sondaj european privind competenţele lingvistice, instrument care va permite colectarea datelor necesare pentru elaborarea unui indicator la nivel european în domeniu şi îmbunătăţirea cunoştinţelor privind predarea limbilor străine.

Pe această bază, în mai 2006, Consiliul a prezentat concluziile sale asupra unei serii de probleme fundamentale privind indicatorul european de competenţă lingvistică. În ceea ce priveşte limbile străine care vor fi testate, Consiliul a decis că indicatorul european de competenţă lingvistică va fi conceput pentru limbile oficiale ale Uniunii Europene. Aceasta înseamnă că doar limbile vii sunt vizate de acest proiect. Prin urmare, posibilitatea de a testa latina sau greaca veche nu a fost luată în considerare.

Din motive practice, Consiliul a decis că, în cursul primului val al sondajului european privind competenţele lingvistice, vor fi evaluate competenţele lingvistice ale elevilor pentru prima şi a doua limbă străină, dintre cele mai studiate limbi străine oficiale la nivelul Uniunii Europene, respectiv engleza, franceza, germana, spaniola şi italiana, şi se vor colecta date pentru trei competenţe: citire, ascultare şi scriere.

Cu toate acestea, instrumentul de testare va fi disponibil pentru toate statele care doresc să se asigure că testele, altele decât cele pentru aceste cinci limbi străine, pot fi incluse ca opţiuni naţionale. De asemenea, Comisia va prelua iniţiativa de a se asigura că etapa următoare a sondajului va cuprinde toate limbile oficiale care se studiază în cadrul Uniunii Europene.

 
  
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  Μαρία Παναγιωτοπούλου-Κασσιώτου (PPE-DE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, βλέπω ότι δεν είναι στην αρμοδιότητά σας η διδασκαλία, ή η διάδοση ή, αυτό που σας ανέφερα και γραπτά, η διατήρηση της κοινής κληρονομιάς που προέρχεται από τις κλασσικές γλώσσες: τη λατινική και την αρχαία ελληνική.

Είναι στην αρμοδιότητά σας ή δεν είναι στην αρμοδιότητά σας; Αυτή είναι η πρώτη ερώτηση. Και δεύτερη ερώτηση, το ευρωπαϊκό πρόγραμμα για την έρευνα αφορά την έρευνα σ’ αυτές τις γλώσσες, ναι ή όχι; Έχετε γνώση του θέματος;

 
  
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  Leonard Orban, Membru al Comisiei. − Întrebarea care mi-a fost adresată era legată de indicatorul european de competenţă lingvistică. Şi, după cum am răspuns, numai limbile oficiale ale Uniunii Europene sunt subiectul acestui demers. Pe de altă parte, Comisia Europeană nu are informaţii în ceea ce priveşte eventuale cercetări sau studii care se fac în statele membre sau în regiuni din statele membre cu privire la limbile menţionate.

 
  
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  Μανώλης Μαυρομμάτης (PPE-DE). – Ως εισηγητής της έκθεσης για τον ευρωπαϊκό δείκτη γλωσσικών γνώσεων κύριε Επίτροπε, θα ήθελα να σημειώσω ότι ο εν λόγω δείκτης αποσκοπεί να εξασφαλίσει τη μέτρηση σε τακτικά χρονικά διαστήματα των συνολικών γνώσεων ξένων γλωσσών σε όλα τα κράτη μέλη.

Είχαμε συμφωνήσει ότι σε ένα πρώτο στάδιο ο δείκτης αυτός θα μετρά τις γλωσσικές γνώσεις στις πέντε πλέον διαδεδομένες γλώσσες στα συστήματα εκπαίδευσης της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης: αγγλικά, γαλλικά, γερμανικά, ιταλικά και ισπανικά.

Ωστόσο, το Κοινοβούλιο είχε καλέσει την Επιτροπή και το Συμβούλιο να λάβουν τα απαραίτητα μέτρα ώστε να επεκταθεί το συντομότερο δυνατόν η δοκιμασία αυτή σε μεγαλύτερο φάσμα επίσημων γλωσσών της Ένωσης, χωρίς όμως αυτό να αποβεί σε βάρος της διδασκαλίας και της ανάπτυξης ξένων γλωσσών.

Μπορεί να μας πει ο κύριος Επίτροπος σε ποιο στάδιο βρισκόμαστε και, ενδεχομένως, ποιες γλώσσες θα είναι ο επόμενος σταθμός;

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE-DE). – Herr Kommissar! Im ehemaligen Kloster Haindorf in Nordböhmen befindet sich ein polnisch-deutsch-tschechisches Begegnungszentrum, wo alle Aufschriften und Wegweiser lateinisch sind. Könnte man das nicht auch in den Gebäuden der Europäischen Institutionen machen?

Zweiter Vorschlag: Könnte man nicht für die Europahymne einen lateinischen Text machen, den alle gemeinsam singen können und den dann die einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten in ihre jeweiligen Sprachen übersetzen, deren gemeinsamer Text aber lateinisch wäre?

 
  
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  Leonard Orban, Membru al Comisiei. − În ceea ce priveşte indicatorul european de competenţă lingvistică, după cum am spus şi după cum bine aţi sesizat, într-o primă fază vor fi vizate doar cinci limbi.

În momentul de faţă, programul este următorul: pregătim în cursul acestui an un proiect-pilot, urmând ca în 2009 să facem toate pregătirile pentru evaluarea aceasta, iar în 2010 să putem avea rezultatele clare ale situaţiei privind aceste cinci limbi. Ulterior, după cum am spus în intervenţia mea, Comisia doreşte să extindă acest indicator la toate limbile oficiale. Dar este încă devreme să spunem când va fi momentul în care această extindere va fi făcută. Sigur, va trebui să vedem şi să analizăm în detaliu care vor fi rezultatele evaluării privind indicatorul pe cele cinci limbi cu care pornim la drum.

Pe de altă parte, cu privire la a doua întrebare care mi-a fost adresată, obiectivul Comisiei Europene este de a apăra diversitatea lingvistică. Din acest punct de vedere, prin toate acţiunile pe care Comisia Europeană le întreprinde se urmăreşte apărarea atât a limbilor oficiale, cât şi a celorlalte limbi vorbite în Uniunea Europeană. Avem 23 de limbi oficiale, avem peste 60 de limbi regionale, limbi ale minorităţilor, limbi mai puţin utilizate. Din acest punct de vedere, demersurile pe care le facem noi vizează în special aceste limbi pe care le-am numit limbi vii.

În ceea ce priveşte imnul european, sigur, punctele de vedere sunt diferite. Nu este rolul Comisiei Europene să decidă cu privire la această chestiune.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta nº 43 do Deputado Bernd Posselt (H-0002/08)

Assunto: Promoção das minorias linguísticas

Que minorias linguísticas beneficiaram de apoio por parte da Comissão em 2007 e, no seu entender, de que forma poderão as minorias de língua alemã beneficiar de um apoio acrescido em 2008 e 2009?

 
  
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  Leonard Orban, Membru al Comisiei. − În cadrul cererii de propuneri 2007 au fost selectate o reţea şi trei proiecte care se adresează limbilor minoritare pentru finanţare în cadrul programului de învăţare de-a lungul vieţii.

Activitatea-cheie 2: limbile străine. Reţeaua menită să promoveze diversitatea lingvistică coordonată de Comitetul pentru limba galeză vizează următoarele limbi: bască, bretonă, catalană, cornică, friziană răsăriteană, galeza scoţiană, friziană nordică, galeza, friziana apuseană, slovacă, ladină, galiciană, friuliană, sardă, estonă, irlandeză, letonă, lituaniană, malteză, finlandeză şi suedeză.

Biroul European pentru limbi de circulaţie mai restrânsă este unul din partenerii acestui proiect de 3 ani, menit să faciliteze schimbul de bune practici actuale şi dezvoltarea de idei noi şi inovatoare în domeniul educaţiei şi planificării lingvistice în contextul limbilor regionale, minoritare, indigene, transfrontaliere, al limbilor naţiunilor mai mici şi al limbilor de circulaţie mai restrânsă. Cele 3 proiecte multianuale finanţate în 2007 includ limbile minoritare şi mondiale precum catalana, basca, sarda, siciliana, irlandeza, rusa, araba şi hindi.

Pentru perioada 2008-2010 se va acorda prioritate proiectelor care vizează limbile europene de circulaţie mai restrânsă. În contextul programului de învăţare de-a lungul vieţii 2007-2013, toate limbile sunt eligibile pentru finanţare, incluzând astfel minorităţile vorbitoare de limba germană.

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE-DE). – Herr Kommissar, habe ich das also richtig verstanden, dass deutschsprachige Minderheiten erst ab 2013 gefördert werden können? Aber es ist doch z.B. so, dass es real existierende Minderheiten gibt, wie etwa die Deutschen in der Tschechischen Republik oder die Polen in Litauen oder die Polen in der Tschechischen Republik usw. Wenn diese z.B. Medien oder kulturelle Projekte haben, können sie also derzeit überhaupt nicht gefördert werden. Oder ist das ein Missverständnis?

 
  
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  Leonard Orban, Membru al Comisiei. − Poate n-am fost suficient de clar. Nu am spus în niciun caz că unele limbi, inclusiv limba germană, ar putea fi sprijinite doar după 2013. Răspunsul este categoric. În programul de învăţare pe toată durata vieţii, toate limbile vorbite în Uniunea Europeană, deci, bineînţeles, inclusiv limba germană, sunt susceptibile de a primi finanţare. Singurul lucru care contează este calitatea proiectului sau proiectelor care sunt prezentate. Deci răspunsul este, categoric, că asemenea limbi pot fi finanţate în programul de învăţare pe toată durata vieţii, inclusiv în această perioadă din 2008 până în 2013. Repet, inclusiv în această perioadă.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta nº 44 do Deputado Seán Ó Neachtain (H-0010/08)

Assunto: Línguas menos utilizadas da Europa

A Comissão pode informar se tenciona apresentar, no futuro próximo, alguns programas novos com vista a promover o uso das línguas menos utilizadas da Europa? Pode indicar também qual é a natureza desses programas e o provável apoio financeiro que lhes será atribuído?

A pergunta nº 45 receberá resposta por escrito.

 
  
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  Leonard Orban, Membru al Comisiei. − Comisia nu are nicio intenţie de a prezenta în viitorul apropiat un nou program de promovare concretă a utilizării limbilor de circulaţie mai restrânsă în Europa. De fapt, noua generaţie de programe 2007-2013 ale Comisiei, şi anume programul de învăţare de-a lungul vieţii, oferă o gamă largă de posibilităţi de finanţare pentru aceste limbi. Toate limbile sunt eligibile pentru acest program.

Finanţarea este accesibilă în cadrul tuturor celor 4 subprograme ale programului de învăţare de-a lungul vieţii: COMENIUS, ERASMUS, Grundvig şi Leonardo da Vinci. Această finanţare este, de asemenea, posibilă în cadrul secţiunii transversale nou-create a programului de învăţare de-a lungul vieţii, în special prin intermediul activităţii-cheie 2 – limbi străine – care propune finanţarea unor proiecte şi reţele cu scopul determinat de a promova învăţarea limbilor străine şi diversitatea lingvistică.

Ca urmare a cererii generale de propuneri 2007, o reţea şi 3 proiecte dedicate limbilor de circulaţie mai restrânsă au fost selecţionate pentru finanţare în cadrul activităţii-cheie 2. Pentru perioada 2008-2010 se va acorda prioritate proiectelor care vizează limbile de circulaţie mai restrânsă în Europa. În 2008, bugetul disponibil în cadrul activităţii-cheie 2 este de 9,9 milioane de euro, dar, dat fiind că finanţarea activităţilor şi proiectelor cu orientare lingvistică face parte dintr-o tendinţă dominantă, fonduri suplimentare sunt disponibile în cadrul programului de învăţare de-a lungul vieţii.

 
  
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  Seán Ó Neachtain (UEN). – A Uachtaráin, ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghlacadh leis an gCoimisinéir as a fhreagra, ach nach nglacann sé leis go bhfuil sé tábhachtach go gcabhrófaí leis na teangacha neamhfhorleathana seo ina gcomhthéacs féin agus gan iad a cheangal rómhór le foghlaim fad saoil. Tá na teangacha seo i mbaol agus gan tacaíocht shuntasach dóibh astu féin, beidh siad i mbaol níos mó amach anseo. Ar ndóigh, tá tacaíocht airgid tábhachtach ach tá an tacaíocht shiombalach níos tábhachtaí fós. An aontódh an Coimisinéir gur chóir é sin a dhéanamh níos láidre?

 
  
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  Leonard Orban, Membru al Comisiei. − Nu pot decât să repet ceea ce am spus anterior, că prin acţiunile pe care le întreprinde Comisia Europeană se sprijină diversitatea lingvistică, se sprijină nu numai cele 23 de limbi oficiale, dar şi celelalte limbi vorbite în Uniunea Europeană, inclusiv limbile regionale, limbile de circulaţie mai restrânsă. Şi, prin datele pe care le-am furnizat, am arătat că acest sprijin este unul concret, un sprijin financiar important acordat dezvoltării acestor limbi.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE-DE). – A Uachtaráin, tá Gaeilge líofa ag mo chara Seán Ó Neachtain, ach níl mise ábalta Gaeilge a labhairt. Tá brón orm faoi sin.

Could I put a question to you? I agree with the premise of your answer. Money is important, but is it not more important that we know how to teach languages better? In countries like Ireland, where people, like myself, would dearly love to speak the language but came through a system that did not give us the ability to do so, we need to find ways of teaching us how to speak our native tongue, because we would dearly love to do that.

 
  
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  Leonard Orban, Membru al Comisiei. − Comisia Europeană intenţionează să prezinte o nouă strategie privind multilingvismul în cea de-a doua parte a anului 2008. În cadrul acestei strategii, componenta educaţională îşi va găsi un loc foarte important. Componenta şi modalităţile privind învăţarea limbilor străine vor juca un rol foarte important.

În ceea ce priveşte limba irlandeză, vreau să vă informez că recent am făcut o vizită la Dublin, am avut prilejul să discut cu autorităţile irlandeze, atunci şi ulterior, şi am insistat asupra necesităţii pregătirii cât mai largi a persoanelor capabile să lucreze, la nivel comunitar şi nu numai, ca traducători sau ca interpreţi. Este un element esenţial pentru a putea asigura un loc deplin egal pentru limba irlandeză alături de celelalte limbi oficiale al Uniunii.

 
  
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  Evgeni Kirilov (PSE). – Mr President, I really expected to have an answer from the Commissioner tonight. The floor is given to people to make statements and ask questions. I have a question and I would like to have an answer to that question. It is as simple as that. Time is being wasted on statements tonight. Could you please, in this case, let the Commissioner answer very quickly? I will not ask any particular questions after that.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Senhores Deputados, eu não posso adivinhar quando as pessoas pedem a palavra se vão fazer declarações ou se vão colocar questões. Isso não está ainda na minha mente, não tenho dotes divinatórios. O que eu tenho é que gerir o tempo segundo o regulamento e as práticas da casa e, infelizmente, eu não tenho tempo para lhe dar. Isso significaria que prejudicaria os restantes colegas que colocaram questões. É preciso que se saiba que só para esta sessão temos 70 questões colocadas à Comissão. É óbvio que não podem ser respondidas 70 questões colocadas à Comissão. Temos regras, temos que as cumprir. Eu peço muita desculpa, compreendo a sua frustração. Se estivesse no seu lugar e quando estou no seu lugar também me sinto frustrado, mas não posso responder. Aliás, o Senhor Comissário vai responder-lhe por escrito, naturalmente, e, portanto, terá a resposta que ambiciona. Espero a sua compreensão.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta nº 46 do Deputado Claude Moraes (H-1047/07)

Assunto: Fundo de Desenvolvimento Regional e grupos minoritários

A maior parte dos Fundos estruturais destinados ao desenvolvimento regional para o período 2007-2013 já foi aprovada. Assim, como irá a Comissão assegurar que esses fundos não irão ser utilizados de forma discriminatória e assegurar que as minorias étnicas, nomeadamente os Roma, também deles beneficiem?

Irá a Comissão publicar informações sobre as taxas de absorção dos fundos pelos diversos grupos étnicos minoritários?

 
  
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  Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, let me say that, in the process of preparing for the new generation of cohesion policy programmes for 2007-2013, the Commission has insisted that, during the negotiations, the Roma issue, which is of particular importance to the honourable Member, is included in planning and programming. I must admit that Member States have responded very positively by including the Roma issue as a cross-cutting issue in many national strategic reference frameworks and also through direct references in operational programmes. This is particularly strongly visible in the case of countries like Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia and Spain, but also in the case of Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania and Finland.

Due to the decentralised way of managing the Structural Funds, it is not possible for the Commission to identify clearly which projects are targeting and will in the future target, and how much money will be available for, the Roma issue. However, our presence in the monitoring committee for the period 2000-2006 clearly shows that there is a multitude of very interesting and complementary programmes and projects which support Roma inclusion. We have, in many ESF and ERDF programmes, either specific implementation allocations or support for Roma inclusion indirectly, through references to vulnerable groups. This is, for example, the case in Estonia, Finland and Poland.

On the issue of the publication of data, I must say that, for the period 2007-2013, Member States, as you probably know, are required to publish details of the beneficiaries under each programme, but this system does not extend explicitly to identifying the ethnic background of the beneficiaries. Nevertheless, on the basis of this list that we will receive, we will be able to identify areas in which the European policy is active.

Let me also say that DG REGIO has prepared, for the period 2007-2013, guidance for internal Commission work on the Roma issue, which has been used across the services in the programming period. There is a Roma inter-service group working on Structural Funds chaired by DG REGIO.

Let me also say that in many Member States – and Hungary is a good example here – we also have steering mechanisms which are specially created for the process of new regional policy. In Hungary, for example, there is a network of advisers of Roma origin to assist Roma applicants in preparation of the project at different stages. The Commission is also currently working on, and will present by June 2008, an overview of all the Community instruments and policies, including the Structural Funds, and their impact on Roma inclusion.

 
  
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  Claude Moraes (PSE). – Thank you, Commissioner, for that very comprehensive answer. I would also like to thank you for your recent work in my constituency in London in sorting out our own Structural Fund problems.

Can I take you deeper into the question of identifying whether ethnic minorities are actually being targeted properly? In December the European Council specifically asked you and the Commission to look deeper into this issue. Do you feel, aside from the comprehensive answer you have given me, that there is some scope for identifying whether the Roma and other groups are in fact being targeted well, or whether money is being filtered in other places? Is there scope for you to go further on this issue?

 
  
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  Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission. − It is actually Commissioner Špidla who is in charge of the preparation of the Commission document in response to the Council request. Nevertheless, through the inter-service groups we are all participating in this process.

As I said, we will have the information from the report on final beneficiaries, so we will know what is being done for the Roma or for other minorities. We will not have ethnically-segregated data with regard to the background of beneficiaries. Nevertheless, the area in which the project will be functioning will be absolutely clear, so, on the basis of this, we will know for the period 2007-2013 much more than we know so far.

Let me also say that the Commission, in its function as observer within the management system in the committees in the Member States, is also looking at and actively participating in the assessment of the allocation of funds in the areas important to ethnic minorities, so we have different sorts of information. But I must admit that we do not have a fully-fledged instrument to identify the entire scope of the intervention taking place through the policy, but we are certainly very aware and we are using all the opportunities that we have.

We will see. We are now preparing the input into the Commission document for the Council. We will also see where the black areas are, where we do not have information, and what kind of action we might still need.

 
  
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  Μαρία Παναγιωτοπούλου-Κασσιώτου (PPE-DE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, θα ήθελα να ρωτήσω την Επίτροπο αν στις ευπαθείς ομάδες, μειονοτικές ή μη, συμπεριλαμβάνονται οι μονογονεϊκές και πολύτεκνες φτωχές οικογένειες και αν μπορούν να συνδυαστούν τα κριτήρια και να πολλαπλασιαστούν οι παροχές σε τέτοιου είδους ομάδες.

 
  
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  Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission. − I should just like to say that nothing has been excluded. With your help we have been through the preparation of the regulations. We have been sensitive to vulnerable groups, and there are clear references in the general ERDF regulation with regard, for example, to equal opportunities policies. So it is a priority.

There is also the system of reporting on how equal opportunity policies are implemented in the new generation of cohesion policy programmes. The extent to which this is used by the Member States, by the regions, depends on how strong the partners participating in all the structures of the management fund are in this process. It is a joint effort.

The Commission has created the general framework, in order to take into account all the vulnerable groups. Its use depends not just on the Commission, but also on the Member States. I would strongly encourage all those present on the ground to see that this issue is taken into account.

The Member States are now also going through the process of deciding on the selection criteria, and the Commission is participating in this process. Nevertheless, it depends on the Member States and on the partners, because the monitoring committees include all the social partners. I hope that all the partners, along with the Commission, will bring these issues to the attention of the Member States, and that the selection criteria will include criteria that allow us to have full representation of all the vulnerable groups in our programmes.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta n° 47 do Deputado Jim Higgins (H-1057/07)

Assunto: Financiamento regional da UE para a Irlanda 2007-2013

Poderá a Comissão indicar se está satisfeita com o nível de paridade regional alcançado no recém-aprovado financiamento para a Irlanda para o período 2007-2013 e se a preocupa o facto de os dados revelarem que as duas regiões da Irlanda não estão a convergir, pelo contrário, a região ocidental da Irlanda (BMW) regista um atraso em relação à região S&E, sobre a qual continua a incidir o principal esforço da despesa pública?

 
  
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  Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission. − With regard to Ireland and the allocation for 2007-2013 and the division between the two major regions, let me say that the Border, Midlands and Western (BMW) region, which is a phasing-in region within the second objective, will receive a per capita financial allocation which is four times higher than that of its neighbour, the more prosperous Southern and Eastern region of the Republic.

Of the total EUR 901 million allocated to Ireland, EUR 457 million will go to the BMW region and EUR 293 million to the Southern and Eastern region.

We also have EUR 150 million that will go to cooperation programmes, which translates into a per capita allocation of approximately EUR 400 in the BMW and approximately EUR 95 in the Southern and Eastern region.

Let me also say that the BMW region has performed very well over the recent programming period with the assistance of the EU Structural Funds. The region had already reached 102.9% of the EU-27 average GDP per capita by 2004. But I admit that the gap in regional GDP for the BMW region and the neighbouring region remains a challenge, which is why we hope that in the 2007-2013 programmes, under both the ESF and ERDF, we will see a further reduction in this gap.

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE-DE). – A Uachtaráin, ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a ghabháil leis an gCoimisinéir. Chun an cheist seo faoi scéimeanna mórbhóithre – atá an-tábhachtach ar fad i réigiúin iargúlta – a chur i gcomhthéacs. In 2006, críochnaíodh 14 scéim mórbhóthair, ach ní raibh fiú is ceann amháin acu i Réigiún an BMW. Sa bhliain chéanna bhí deich scéim bóthair faoi thógáil, ach ní raibh ach ceann amháin san Iarthar – is é sin i Réigiún an BMW.

Sa bhliain chéanna tosaíodh 11 scéim bóthair, a bhfuil 222 ciliméadar iontu, agus níl ach dhá scéim de 25 chiliméadar san Iarthar. Tá an ceart agat, nuair a bhreathnaíonn tú, mar shampla, ar GDP nó GVP is léir go bhfuil an bhearna ag méadú agus go gcaithfimid rud éigin agus rud tábhachtach a dhéanamh faoi seo.

 
  
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  Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission. − I appreciate that comment very much. Let me also say that we will be there with the BMW region for the years to come. As you know, the cut in the allocation for Ireland was extremely deep for 2007-2013, and that has, of course, clearly impacted on how much we can do together in the years to come.

Let me also say that the good news for Ireland is that there is the Irish National Spatial Strategy, which is a national programme that recognises the diverging levels of economic growth, both between the regions but also within the BMW region. Let us hope that this joint effort of European contribution and the Irish contribution will make the BMW region move faster in terms of growth.

Let me make a personal comment. We all know that Ireland has been a brilliant user of European funds over the years and adopted a very wise strategy, which led to this huge improvement in terms of general development when measured by GDP per capita. However, it is true that the choice was not the infrastructure, which is now an issue and where we cannot help because Ireland has graduated from the Objective 1 programme, where there could also be further investment in infrastructure. So this has been a very different choice from that of Spain and Portugal, but it is not for me to judge.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta n° 48 do Deputado Brian Crowley (H-0008/08)

Assunto: Apoio da UE ao processo de paz na Irlanda

Pode a Comissão indicar o montante de apoio financeiro que tenciona conceder à Irlanda do Norte no quadro dos fundos estruturais durante o período de 2007-2013, e precisar qual o montante de apoio financeiro que concedeu desde 1994 ao processo de paz na Irlanda do Norte, ao abrigo dos programas dos fundos estruturais da UE, da iniciativa transfronteiriça Interreg, do Fundo Europeu para a Paz e através do Fundo Internacional para a Irlanda?

 
  
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  Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission. − Everyone in this Chamber will know that the Commission has been a very strong and present partner in the peace and reconciliation process in Northern Ireland for years.

For the period 2007-2013, a little over EUR 1.2 billion will be invested in Northern Ireland overall. That will come from the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, but there will also be an additional amount of EUR 477 million allocated to the Peace 3 programme. There will also be the IFI and Interreg 4 programmes, which will invest not only in Northern Ireland but also in the border regions of Ireland.

Looking at the past, which was also part of the question, with regard to 1994-99 and 2000-06, the EU will have invested more than EUR 2 billion for 1994-99 and nearly EUR 1.8 billion for 2000-06. So, over the whole period 1994-2013, we will have invested nearly EUR 5 billion in Northern Ireland.

What is also important now, with the new taskforce and the new approach and engagement from the European Commission, is that we can have benefits over and above the financial allocation, deriving from the stronger involvement of Northern Ireland in European policies. That is what we are working on, together with the Northern Ireland Executive and other partners.

 
  
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  Seán Ó Neachtain (UEN) Ionadaí don údar. – A Choimisinéir, mar gheall ar an toradh iontach a bhí ar an tacaíocht seo don phróiseas síochána i dTuaisceart Éireann agus i gCeantar na Teorann, an mbeadh an Coimisinéir in ann a rá go leanfaí ar aghaidh leis an togra seo nuair a bheidh an tréimhse caiteachais thart tar éis 2013?

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE-DE). – A Uachtaráin, aontaím go hiomlán le mo chomhghleacaí Seán Ó Neachtain agus táimid lánbhuíoch den Aontas Eorpach as an méid airgid a chuir siad isteach i dTuaisceart Éireann, go mór mór i Réigiún na Teorann. Is iontach an rud é go bhfuil síocháin ann anois agus ba mhaith linn go léir ár mbuíochas a ghabháil leis an Aontas Eorpach as an méid a chuir siad isteach ann. Nuair a bhreathnaíonn tú mar shampla ar na figiúirí agus rinne mé tuarascáil le déanaí ar an International Fund for Ireland is féidir a fheiceáil go bhfuil níos mó ná cúig mhíle post cruthaithe mar gheall ar an gCiste seo. Ach ag an am céanna aontaím go hiomlán leis an gceist atá leagtha síos ag mo chomhghleacaí Seán Ó Neachtain.

 
  
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  Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission. − Let me say, in answer to the question of whether we will continue our presence in Northern Ireland after 2013, that the IFI, which, as we know, is not a Commission programme to which the Commission and the Council are contributing, will come to an end in 2010. Therefore, we do not know whether the international community will be willing to proceed with a second stage or second edition of this programme.

With regard to the European programmes, Northern Ireland is an Objective 2 programme. I sincerely hope we will continue with the Objective 2 programme, because I do not believe in a regional policy which is just for part of Europe, with other parts left out. If there is no Objective 2, there will be no qualification for Northern Ireland.

However, I also believe that the cross-border and transnational cooperation in which Northern Ireland participates – especially the new cross-border programme through ‘C’ – is also very important, because we believe that this interregional cooperation – especially with a cross-border dimension – is also very important to bring Northern Ireland closer to Europe and to cooperation with other regions and other Member States. So it is open. The Commission will certainly be involved in supporting the idea of continuing this presence.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta n° 49 do Deputado David Martin (H-1061/07)

Assunto: Fundos Estruturais Europeus

A Comissão está consciente de que, ao abrigo das novas orientações operacionais, os projectos na Escócia requerem um orçamento mínimo de 200.000 libras esterlinas para serem elegíveis para os Fundos Estruturais Europeus? A Comissão é de opinião que isto representa uma discriminação indevida dos projectos pequenos, mas válidos?

As perguntas 50 a 54 receberão uma resposta escrita.

 
  
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  Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission. − The Commission is aware of the threshold that was introduced by the Scottish authorities. Let me also say that the Scottish authorities were fully transparent, throughout the negotiations, on the issue of introducing the threshold. The authorities were transparent not only with regard to the Commission, in our contacts, but also within Scotland, in the consultation process with all the stakeholders and partners in Scotland.

I should like to stress that there is an absolutely clear understanding that the threshold that was introduced does not exclude small projects, but aims to encourage those projects to group together thematically or regionally to reach the required threshold. The Scottish authorities have committed themselves to ensuring that assistance is given to smaller project holders, so that smaller projects below the threshold can at any time be presented to the intermediate administrative body, which will bring them together, whenever possible, in order to build a more strategic proposal.

This is, in fact, aimed at minimising the financial and audit risk of funding to small projects. It is also aimed at promoting linkages between smaller projects, to make them a part of comprehensive strategy, and aimed at reducing the administrative burden, which is often seen as a barrier to small projects. So the intention is good, and there is a mechanism to help small projects to form bigger packages that would then be presented to apply for funding.

 
  
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  David Martin (PSE). – Very briefly, Commissioner, because I know we are up against the clock: if the Scottish authorities were to come to you and suggest a lower threshold, would that be possible, and would you look at it sympathetically?

 
  
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  Danuta Hübner, Member of the Commission. − Absolutely, yes. The answer would definitely be yes.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta n° 55 do Deputado Georgios Papastamkos (H-1044/07)

Assunto: Criação de uma Autoridade de regulação do mercado europeu das telecomunicações

Entre as propostas avançadas pela Comissão no contexto da revisão iminente do quadro regulamentar para as telecomunicações figura a criação de uma Autoridade de regulação do mercado europeu das telecomunicações. Esta Autoridade irá, entre outros, assumir o papel actualmente desempenhado pelo Grupo de Reguladores Europeus (GRE) e coordenar a acção das Autoridades reguladoras nacionais.

Teve a Comissão em consideração as reacções expressas pela totalidade das Autoridades Reguladoras Nacionais da UE sobre os poderes e competências da Autoridade Comunitária proposta? Quais serão os limites entre as competências das Autoridades reguladoras nacionais e a nova Autoridade Europeia?

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Member of the Commission. − The honourable Member refers to the Commission’s proposal to set up a European electronic communications market authority. We believe that there should be a separate entity which is independent of the Commission and accountable to the European Parliament, and that this entity could assist the Commission in tackling the remaining problems of inconsistency in regulation, which leads to the fragmentation of European markets.

I have ongoing contact with the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) and I take note of their views regarding the powers and responsibilities of the proposed authority.

Concerning the European Regulators Group (ERG), which has expressed its preference for strengthening its own model, with a view to continuing to improve the quality, consistency and coordination of regulation across Europe, I would just like to quote the ERG: ‘If Europe wants to play a leading role in the global economy, its 27 Members will need to work closely to ensure that business can take full advantage of the European market’. That means that it does not today and that we need to find solutions so that it does in future.

The impact assessment accompanying the review proposals states that the European authority would contribute to improving the efficiency of decision-making, most of all in decision-making concerning cross-border actions. We need this in order to build up the internal market.

We concluded as a Commission, therefore, that there is a need for a separate entity established within the Community’s existing institutional structure, because the ERG is today outside this structure – that means it is just a private organisation. Inside the institutional structure, it would reinforce the powers of the NRAs by taking over the functions of the ERG and giving them a foundation in Community law.

Concerning the question of the distribution of competences, the authority would assist the Commission in issues having impact on the internal market and would have an inherent crossborder character, and would draw, of course, on the expertise and the daily regulatory work of the national regulators. This system, based on the experience of 27 national regulators and the experience accumulated by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), aims at reinforcing the coherence and consistency of EU rules, improving the decision-making process and contributing to promote a high and effective level of network and information security.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Παπαστάμκος (PPE-DE). – Κύριε Επίτροπε, μεταξύ του τριγώνου που σχηματίζεται από τις εθνικές ρυθμιστικές αρχές, την υπό σύσταση αρχή για την ευρωπαϊκή αγορά τηλεπικοινωνιών και την Επιτροπή, μπορείτε να πληροφορήσετε τον διοικούμενο ευρωπαίο πολίτη πού θα απευθύνεται προκειμένου να προσβάλει μία πράξη που θίγει τα έννομα συμφέροντά του;

Θα έχουν εκτελεστική ισχύ οι αποφάσεις της υπό σύσταση αρχής; Σκοπεύει να αναλάβει η ίδια η Επιτροπή το επιπλέον κόστος που προκαλεί η προτεινόμενη αναθεώρηση του νομοθετικού πλαισίου, δεδομένης της υφιστάμενης ασύμμετρης ανάπτυξης των τηλεπικοινωνιακών δομών μεταξύ των νέων και των παλαιών κρατών μελών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης;

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Member of the Commission. − Each citizen has the right to complain if something is not going well. If I were an ordinary citizen, the first place I would complain to would be the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament, because that is the place where the voice of Parliament will intervene. The second way is through transparency, which is a very important element of all our rules.

The Commission has tried to get this transparency put in place. You may remember, for instance, with regard to voice roaming, that citizens were not informed at all about where they could get information about price structures until the Commission established a website giving information on roaming. That was the first time that transparency had worked.

In the new reform we also make transparency the rule and not only the exception, not only with regard to price structures but also, for instance, when there are breaches of security or privacy. In such cases, operators have an obligation to inform consumers. Having said that, citizens will still be able to complain in the normal way, as under the old telecom rules.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta n° 56 do Deputado Giovanna Corda (H-1045/07)

Assunto: Acesso de todos os cidadãos à banda larga nos Estados-Membros

Em 13 de Novembro de 2007, a Comissão adoptou uma série de propostas de reforma do quadro regulamentar no domínio das comunicações electrónicas. Poderia a Comissão precisar como tenciona intervir, com eficácia e celeridade, junto dos Estados-Membros para permitir o acesso de todos os cidadãos ao mercado da banda larga, o que actualmente, em virtude das enormes diferenças de preços praticados, está muito longe de se verificar?

Por outro lado, como pode a Comissão garantir que a concorrência será efectiva e que serão sancionadas as práticas anticoncorrenciais que impedem a abertura destes mercados?

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Member of the Commission The high-speed internet is the internet of the future, and we would not like this internet to be available only to some. This is why the information society for all is one of the Lisbon Strategy postulates for open and competitive markets. Because our regulatory instruments today, even before the reform, enable this open approach to the e-communications framework – it is also bolstered by general competition rules – this has made markets too open to competition, which in turn has driven the roll-out of broadband access networks in Europe.

I am worried that in some countries it worked well – these are the countries where competition is functioning well, where you have penetration rates of up to 37%, even 40% – whereas in some other countries the penetration rates are very low. I would like to get rid of this variation. I would like to bring those who are in the very low category up the ladder. This is why the Commission proposes, as part of the reform, to enable the Commission to oversee the regulatory remedies put in place by national regulatory authorities, backed up by the possibility of the national regulatory authorities imposing functional separation if they think it necessary in order to open the markets.

In parallel, the Commission deals with anti-competitive behaviour as a priority. For instance, in 2003 we fined France Télécom and Deutsche Telekom for abusive behaviour in the broadband markets and, most recently, on 4 July 2007 the Commission fined Telefónica for having abused its dominant position by margin squeeze in the Spanish broadband market.

I would also like to say that a communication was issued in March 2006 on bridging the broadband gap. I really believe that we need broadband for all, and this is why I believe we need to have national broadband strategies which reflect regional and local needs.

Moving to the question raised about transparency, the Commission is about to launch a web portal that should start to operate around May-June 2008 on the question of broadband and the citizens.

Last but not least, the Commission has a favourable view regarding the use of public funds, including EU funds – Structural Funds – to extend broadband in areas where commercial deployment is inadequate. Several such projects have already been established.

We also support the development of information societies through regional policy. A provisional estimate puts the investment at about EUR 15 billion, which is 4.4% of the total spending for the period 2007-2013, and of this figure EUR 2.2 billion is expected to be spent on broadband infrastructures. Through these combined efforts we hope that the penetration figures of today – where we have, incidentally, four world leaders in broadband penetration – will make many more countries leaders in the world and particularly in Europe.

 
  
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  Giovanna Corda (PSE). – Madame la Commissaire, vous avez été obligée d'imposer des prix maximums pour le roaming. Vous avez déclaré, la semaine dernière, que vous serez peut-être contrainte de le faire pour la transmission du courrier électronique.

Et dans un avenir proche, ne serez-vous pas obligée de contrôler également les prix d'accès à l'internet au niveau européen?

Je sais que, dans certains pays, des rapprochements se préparent, qui auront pour effet de réduire le nombre d'opérateurs. Dans ce cas, les prix vont-ils baisser? Permettez-moi d'en douter, Madame la Commissaire.

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, membre de la Commission. − Monsieur le Président, en réponse à l'honorable parlementaire, je voudrais dire qu'on n'intervient pas le cœur léger sur le prix du marché, mais on laisse normalement le marché résoudre ces problèmes. Mais si le marché ne peut résoudre les problèmes, il faut que les politiques prennent leurs responsabilités. C'est ce que nous avons fait en matière de roaming vocal. C'est ce que je ne voudrais pas faire en matière de sms et de data roaming.

C'est la raison pour laquelle – sur la base d'ailleurs de l'obligation qui m'est imposée par le règlement sur le roaming vocal, dans lequel le Parlement m'a demandé de présenter en 2008 une analyse de la situation – je viens de mettre en garde l'industrie, en lui disant très clairement que, si elle ne baisse pas les prix par elle–même, ce seront les régulateurs, dont le Parlement européen, qui seront forcés d'agir. Mais, en fait, il faut toujours donner d'abord sa chance au marché et ce n'est que si le marché ne peut résoudre le problème que les politiques doivent intervenir.

Qu'en sera–t–il du marché de la large bande? Je n'en sais rien. Pour l'instant, je vois uniquement que nous avons, parmi nos pays européens, quatre pays qui sont, en matière de pénétration, les champions du monde, loin devant le Japon et la Corée du Sud, et très, très loin devant les États–Unis. Et que voit–on? On voit que ce sont des marchés qui sont concurrentiels. On voit que ce sont des marchés où il y a plusieurs offres sur la table et le consommateur, en fin de compte, peut choisir le service qui lui semble le plus approprié.

C'est ainsi qu'un marché doit fonctionner. Ce n'est que si le marché ne fonctionne pas qu'il faut réglementer. Les régulateurs nationaux le font. Pour qu'ils le fassent d'une façon plus efficace et plus fonctionnelle en faisant avancer le marché intérieur, qui est la grande chance de l'Europe face à la globalisation, je propose de réformer le droit des marchés télécom. Je le fais, et le Parlement en discute en ce moment, pour que le choix offert aux consommateurs soit le vrai choix.

Pour l'instant, il y a trop de citoyens – pas seulement les citoyens, mais aussi les petites et moyennes entreprises – qui n'ont pas accès à la large bande. Ils n'auront pas accès à l'avenir, à travers la large bande, au développement de la société. Je trouve que c'est une situation que nous ne devons pas accepter. Voilà pourquoi le broadband for all – la large bande pour tous – doit être un objectif politique. Cet objectif politique pourrait être atteint si nous arrivions à mettre en place une réforme du marché télécom qui installe une vraie concurrence entre les opérateurs, et donc le choix du service qu'ils désirent proposer aux citoyens.

 
  
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  Presidente. − Pergunta n° 57 do Deputado Gay Mitchell (H-1051/07)

Assunto: Segurança na Internet

Ao mesmo tempo que dos progressos na tecnologia da informação e comunicação continuam a decorrer benefícios assinaláveis e os riscos de exposição das crianças a conteúdos impróprios ou ilegais registam um recrudescimento dramático, a UE adoptou em 2005 um programa para uma Internet mais segura (Safer Internet plus), que visa lutar contra todos os conteúdos ilegais e indesejáveis, em particular no que diz respeito às crianças.

A Comissão pode dar conta dos resultados alcançados neste importante domínio político e, em especial, comunicar que melhorias efectivas podem ser apuradas no incremento da segurança na Internet nos Estados-Membros?

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, this subject is very dear to my heart, because it concerns children and their safety. I believe that the new technology is wonderful for children, but it also has dangers, and we have to fight these.

This is why we have established two extensive European networks: the INHOPE network of hotlines, where members of the public can report illegal content, and the INSAFE awareness-raising network, which aims to spread knowledge about the safer use of online technologies to children, parents, schools, policy-makers and the media. All these are organised under the Safer Internet Programme and are unique pan-European initiatives.

INHOPE’s hotlines exist in 24 European countries, and it also has an international outreach with members in Asia and the United States. The number of reports of child-abuse material processed by the network and passed on to law enforcement authorities has increased by 15% in recent years, so we can really see the importance of those hotlines.

The second network is INSAFE, which coordinates awareness centres in 23 European countries and also organises the Safer Internet Day every year – this year it was on 12 February. We organised the Pan-European Youth Forum, where a number of Members of Parliament and representatives from industry were present to speak directly about their experiences with social networking and mobile phone use.

The EU Kids Online network coordinates researchers from 21 countries who focus on child safety online, and every year the Safer Internet Forum brings together non-governmental organisations, industry researchers and policy-makers to discuss how to fight illegal content efficiently, Web 2.0 and other relevant topics. The programme also encourages the engagement of the private sector. The Safer Internet Plus programme will end in December 2008, which is why Parliament will very soon have the opportunity to look at the review of this programme for the period 2009-2013. I am sure Parliament will take an active part in this decision-making process.

We have seen good results so far and we can reinforce these. The problem is not becoming smaller, it is continuing to grow, so I believe these programmes should continue.

 
  
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  Gay Mitchell (PPE-DE). – Commissioner, thank you for that response. Since the problem is growing and is set to grow, can you confirm that you will recommend that the budget will also continue to grow? The budget for the last five years was EUR 45 million.

Are you aware that a survey in 2003 showed that 40% of children said that people they had only met online asked them to meet in person and in 2006 22% of them actually met the person. 51% of them never told their parents or their teachers. In that context, what targets have you set yourself, what measurements have you set against those targets, and what progress will you be in a position to report to Parliament when we next come to renew this programme for the period up to 2013? I strongly support this programme and I would urge you, Commissioner, to seek whatever resources you need to advance it.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE-DE). – Thank you for your answer, Commissioner. Can I ask what action the Commission will take to intensify its work with parents? That is the real problem. Children are unfortunately way ahead of us in this area. I am alarmed that this programme will end in 2008, and am also conscious that not everyone knows about it, even if many do. I hope you will take this point on board, and I believe that you need to do more, proactively, to encourage awareness.

 
  
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  Viviane Reding, Member of the Commission. − I completely agree with the honourable Members. That is indeed a big problem. For once, children in our society know more than parents, which is not such a bad thing, but it creates problems for parents in helping their children to overcome the problem. By the way, it concerns not only parents but also grandparents –very often grandparents are the first to buy a mobile phone for their grandchildren, in order to communicate with them. And it concerns educators, of course.

That is the reason why we not only propose to expand the programme with an increased budget of EUR 55 million – and I hope Parliament will increase that budget – but are also working together with private organisations, such as SchoolNet. The SchoolNet programme exists in many of our European schools and really tackles this problem in order to make the children aware of the problems and show them that not everybody they may come into contact with is someone they should be in contact with. It also provides information through hotlines and the Safer Internet Programme activities, and provides awareness centres to make parents understand what is going on. Very often, parents do not have any idea about the advantages and the disadvantages of new technologies.

I am responsible for new technology and I really believe that the majority of actions through new technology are positive ones. I would not like a few negative aspects to completely prevent the younger generation from having contact with new technology. That is why I also believe very strongly in the self-regulation capacity of the industry.

A year ago, I asked mobile phone operators to do something to ensure that, in the third generation of mobile phones, problems with the internet will not directly cross over to mobile phones. I am very glad to say that, this year, the mobile phone industry came up with very concrete actions to inform parents and children about the difficulties and to block programmes which are dangerous for children in the third generation of mobile phones.

So progress is being made. I think that maybe the European elections will be a very good moment for the European Parliament to bring to the attention of citizens the actions which have been put in place. These are concrete actions. You are right that not everybody knows about them. So why not take advantage of the huge movement towards the general public during the parliamentary campaign for the elections to explain to citizens what concrete actions the European Community is taking in favour of society?

 
  
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  Presidente. − As perguntas que, por falta de tempo, não obtiveram resposta obtê-la-ão ulteriormente por escrito (ver Anexo).

O período de perguntas à Comissão está encerrado.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: MECHTILD ROTHE
Vizepräsidentin

 
  

(1) JO L 175 de 5.7.1985, p. 40.

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