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REPORT     
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29 October 1998
PE 227.495/fin. A4-0382/98
on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an instrument for structural policies for pre-accession (COM(1998)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091(CNS))
Draftsmen:
Mrs Edith Müller, on behalf of the Committee on Budgets
Mr Fernando Moniz, on behalf of the Committee on External Economic Relations
('Hughes' procedure)
Committee on Regional Policy
Rapporteur: Ralf Walter
By letter of 19 May 1998 the Council consulted Parliament, pursuant to Article 235 of the EC Treaty, on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an instrument for structural policies for pre-accession ((COM(1998)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091(CNS)).
 A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL DRAFT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 B EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION
 OPINION
 OPINION
 OPINION
 OPINION
 OPINION

 By letter of 19 May 1998 the Council consulted Parliament, pursuant to Article 235 of the EC Treaty, on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an instrument for structural policies for pre-accession ((COM(1998)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091(CNS)).

At the sitting of 15 June 1998 the President of Parliament announced that he had referred this proposal to the Committee on Regional Policy as the committee responsible and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Policy, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on External Economic Relations, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Budgetary Control and the Committee on Women's Rights for their opinions.

At the sitting of 17 July 1998 the President of Parliament announced that he had referred this proposal to the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs for its opinion.

At the meeting of 19 June 1998 the chairman announced that the report would be drawn up, in accordance with the Hughes procedure, by the Committee on Regional Policy in collaboration with the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Policy, the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on External Economic Relations.

At its meeting of 25 June 1998 the Committee on Regional Policy appointed Mr Ralf Walter rapporteur.

It considered the Commission proposal and the draft report at its meetings of 22 September, 13 and 26 October 1998.

At the last meeting it adopted the draft legislative resolution unopposed with two abstentions.

The following were present for the vote: Arias Cañete, chairman; Howitt and Napoletano, vicechairmen; Walter, rapporteur; Botz, Berend, Collins, Crampton, David (for Bernardini), de Lassus, Ephremidis, Escola Hernando, García Arias (for Frutos Gama, pursuant to Rule 138(2)), Girão Pereira, Goepel (for Todini, pursuant to Rule 138(2)), Gutiérrez Díaz, Hatzidakis, Imaz San Miguel (for Costa Neves), Iversen (for Darras), Izquierdo Collado, Karamanou, Kellett-Bowman, Klaß, Lage, McCarthy, Miller (for Hume), Myller, Novo, Otila, Ryynänen (for Monfils), Schiedermeier (for Azzolini), Schröder, Schroedter, Varela, Vallvé and Viola.

The opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on External Economic Relations, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection and the Committee on Women's Rights are attached; the Committee on Budgetary Control decided on 23 September 1998 and the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs decided on 24 September 1998 not to deliver opinions.

Although consulted under the Hughes Procedure, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Policy decided on 3 June 1998 not to deliver an opinion.

The report was tabled on 29 October 1998.

The deadline for tabling amendments will be indicated in the draft agenda for the relevant partsession.


 A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL DRAFT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

Proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an instrument for structural policies for pre-accession (COM(1998)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091(CNS))

The proposal is approved with the following amendments:

Text proposed by the Commission(1)

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Citation 2a (new)

having regard to the opinions of the Commission on the applications for accession of each applicant country, particularly the chapter on the situation with regard to transport and the environment (COM(97)2000 to 2010),

(Amendment 2)
Citation 2b (new)

having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament 'Connecting the Union's transport infrastructure network to its neighbours - Towards a cooperative pan-European transport network policy' (COM(97)0172)

(Amendment 3)
Citation 2c (new)

having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the candidate countries in Central and Eastern Europe on accession strategies for environment: meeting the challenge of enlargement with the candidate countries in Central and Eastern Europe (COM(98)0294),

(Amendment 4)
Citation 2d (new)

having regard to the instructions given by the Commission to the group of experts on transport infrastructure needs assessment (TINA),

(Amendment 5)
Citation 3a (new)

having regard to the European Parliament's resolution of 4 December 1997 on the Commission communication 'Agenda 2000: for a stronger and wider Union'(2)

(Amendment 6)
Citation 3b (new)

having regard to the European Parliament's resolution of 28 May 1998 on the Commission's annual report on the Cohesion Fund for 1996(3)

(Amendment 7)
Citation 3c (new)

having regard to the European Parliament's resolution of 14 July 1998 on the Commission communication on cross-border cooperation in the framework of TACIS(4)

(Amendment 8)
Citation 3d (new)

having regard to the Commission's annual report for 1996 on the PHARE programme (COM(98)0178),

(Amendment 9)
Citation 3e (new)

having regard to the proposal for a Council Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) 1164/94 of 16 May 1994 establishing a Cohesion Fund (COM(98)0130),

(Amendment 10)
Recital 3

Whereas, however, the conclusions of the European Council provide that the assistance provided for in this Regulation is to be granted for the time being to the ten applicant countries of central and eastern Europe;

Whereas, however, the conclusions of the European Council provide that the assistance provided for in this Regulation is to be granted for the time being to the ten applicant countries of central and eastern Europe, provided that the commitment to implement the changes required to facilitate accession is fulfilled;

(Amendment 11)
Recital 7

Whereas an appropriate balance must be struck between financing for transport infrastructure measures and financing for environmental measures;

Whereas a balance appropriate to the starting situation of each applicant country must be struck between financing for transport infrastructure measures and financing for environmental measures. The portion used to finance environmental measures should be at least 50% of the total amount by the year 2006.

(Amendment 12)
Recital 8

Whereas the Community assistance under ISPA should facilitate the implementation by the applicant countries of the acquis communautaire in the field of the environment and contribute to sustainable development in these countries;

Whereas the Community assistance under ISPA must facilitate the implementation by the applicant countries of the acquis communautaire in the field of the environment and contribute to sustainable development in these countries;

(Amendment 13)
Recital 8a (new)

Whereas Community assistance under ISPA should entail a more active role for local and regional authorities to enable the adjustment process to proceed more satisfactorily;

(Amendment 14)
Recital 10

Whereas provision should be made for the Commission to make an indicative allocation of the total resources from the Community under ISPA available for commitment between the applicant countries in order to facilitate the preparation of measures;

Whereas provision should be made for the Commission, after ascertaining needs in cooperation with the respective applicant countries, to make an indicative allocation of the total resources from the Community under ISPA available for commitment between the applicant countries in order to facilitate the preparation of measures;

(Amendment 15)
Recital 10a (new)

whereas an arrangement should be put in place for monitoring the rate of utilisation of resources and any reprogramming between countries;

(Amendment 16)
Recital 11a (new)

Whereas in order to avoid overlap, overall coherence must be ensured between the three pre-accession instruments (PHARE, ISPA and the agricultural pre-accession instrument), on the one hand, and the international financing institutions (EIB, EBRD). In this context the Coordination Committee set up in accordance with Article 8 of Council Regulation (EC) No .... on coordinating aid to the applicant countries in the framework of the pre-accession strategy - on which representatives of the respective applicant countries should also sit - has an important role to play;

(Amendment 17)
Recital 12a (new)

Whereas what is required of the applicant countries in the area of monitoring and evaluation (Annex III) should not exceed the obligations that the current Member States have to fulfil,

(Amendment 18)
Recital 13

Whereas, in the interest of the proper management of Community assistance granted under ISPA, provision should be made for effective methods of appraising, monitoring, evaluating and controlling operations, specifying the principle governing the evaluation, defining the nature of and the rules governing the monitoring, and laying down the action to be taken in response to irregularities or failures to comply with one of the conditions laid down when assistance under ISPA was granted;

Whereas, in the interest of the proper management of Community assistance granted under ISPA, provision should be made for effective methods of appraising, monitoring, evaluating and controlling operations, specifying the principle governing the evaluation, defining the nature of and the rules governing the monitoring, and laying down the action to be taken in response to irregularities or failures to comply with one of the conditions laid down when assistance under ISPA was granted, particularly in the event of failure to comply with the strategic priorities or to meet the requirements of sustainable development;

(Amendment 19)
Recital 13a (new)

The Commission shall, in addition, take full account (cf. Annex III, E) of the development and needs of the applicant countries, which calls on a case-by-case basis for flexibility and the greatest possible transparency, but also means that the European Parliament and the European Court of Auditors must be kept fully informed; whereas, like all other structural policy measures, ISPA too must reflect the principle of equality of opportunity set out in the Fourth Action Programme and gender mainstreaming in all policy areas and activities of the EU and the Member States. Women must become actively involved in the decisionmaking process as a whole;

(Amendment 20)
Recital 15

Whereas for the purpose of the implementation of this Regulation the Commission should be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature;

Whereas for the purpose of the implementation of this Regulation the Commission should be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature; the European Parliament shall be informed of all its activities;

(Amendment 21)
Article 1 (1)

1. The Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession, hereinafter referred to as ISPA, is hereby established.

1. The Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession, hereinafter referred to as ISPA, is hereby established.

ISPA shall provide assistance to contribute to the preparation for accession to the European Union of the following applicant countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, hereinafter referred to as the 'beneficiary countries', in the area of economic and social cohesion, in particular concerning environment and transport policies in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.

ISPA shall provide assistance to contribute to the preparation for accession to the European Union of the following applicant countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Cyprus, hereinafter referred to as the 'beneficiary countries', in accordance with the priority objective of economic and social cohesion and promoting environmentally sustainable development , in particular concerning the environment and modes of transport in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.

(Amendment 22)
Article 2(1)

1. The Community assistance financed under ISPA shall include projects, stages of a project which are technically and financially independent, groups of projects or project schemes in the field of environment or transport, hereinafter referred to collectively as measures. A stage or project may also cover preliminary, feasibility and technical studies needed for carrying out a project.

1. The Community assistance financed under ISPA shall include projects, stages of a project which are technically and financially independent, groups of projects or project schemes in the field of environment or transport, hereinafter referred to collectively as measures. A stage or project may also cover preliminary, feasibility and technical studies needed for carrying out a project. The measures shall be framed in accordance with the principles and rules of partnership, pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No...laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds;(5)

(a) environmental measures enabling the beneficiary countries to comply with the requirements of Community environmental law and with the objectives of the Accession Partnerships. The measures shall be based on a thorough investigation of the environmental situation in each country and shall be concerned with the following priorities:

(Amendment 23)
Article 2(2)(a)

(a) environmental measures enabling the beneficiary countries to comply with the requirements of Community environmental law and with the objectives of the Accession Partnerships;

- combating water and air pollution,

- waste management,

- gradual alignment of environmental provisions with the acquis communautaire

- conformity of all new investments with the acquis communautaire, in order to establish the precautionary principle in this area;

- measures to prevent fresh pollution of the environment,

- conservation and restoration of biodiversity,

- energy supply measures which contribute to environmentally benign development and conserve resources;

- nature conservation;

(b) transport infrastructure measures which promote environmentally sustainable mobility, and in particular:

(Amendment 24)
Article 2(2)(b)

(b) transport infrastructure measures which promote sustainable mobility, and in particular those that constitute projects of common interest based on the criteria of Decision No 1629/96/EC and those which enable the beneficiary countries to comply with the objectives of the Accession Partnerships; this includes interconnection and interoperability of national networks as well as with the trans-European networks together with access to such networks.

Measures shall be of a sufficient scale to have a significant impact in the field of environmental protection or in the improvement of transport infrastructure networks. The total cost of each measure shall in principle not be less than EUR 5 million.

i) those that constitute projects of common interest based on the criteria of Decision No 1692/96/EC;

ii) projects which improve interoperability, intermodality and interregional cohesion as well as reduce and stabilise mobility demand;

(iii) access to the corridors and to each of the areas covered by the pan-European transport policy;

(iv) and those which enable the beneficiary countries to facilitate the implementation of the Community transport acquis.

Measures shall be of a sufficient scale to have a significant impact in the field of environmental protection or in the improvement of transport infrastructure networks. Except in the case of justified exceptions, the total cost of each measure shall not as a rule be less than EUR 5 million.

(Amendment 25)
Article 2(4)

4. Assistance may also be granted for:

4. Assistance may, within the limit that will be established in the budgetary decisions, also be granted for:

(a) preliminary studies related to eligible measures, including those necessary for their implementation; and

(a) preliminary studies related to eligible measures, including those necessary for their implementation and

(b) technical support measures, including information and publicity actions, particularly:

(b) technical support measures including information and publicity actions, particularly:

(i) horizontal measures such as comparative studies to assess the impact of Community assistance;

(i) horizontal measures such as comparative studies to assess the impact of Community assistance;

(ii) measures and studies which contribute to the appraisal, monitoring, evaluation or control of projects and to strengthening and ensuring the coordination and consistency of projects with the Accession Partnerships; and

(ii) measures and studies which contribute to the appraisal, monitoring, evaluation or control of projects and to strengthening and ensuring the coordination and consistency of projects with the Accession Partnerships; and

(iii) measures and studies to ensure effective project management and implementation and to make any necessary adjustments.

(iii) measures and studies to ensure effective project management and implementation and to make any necessary adjustments.

(Amendment 26)
Article 2(4)(ba) (new)

(ba) technical and administrative assistance measures necessary for the efficient implementation, supervision and monitoring of the legislation required, in view of the current difficulties of national and regional administrations in the applicant countries, in order to achieve conformity with the acquis communautaire;

(Amendment 27)
Article 2(4a) (new)

4a. The Community shall continue determinedly with its part of the task of establishing the trans-European networks.

(Amendment 28)
Article 2(4b) (new)

4b. The Community shall associate the applicant countries closely in the standardisation work of the relevant bodies, which is essential to the interoperability of the various modes of transport.

(Amendment 29)
Article 2(4c) (new)

4c. The Community shall facilitate participation by the applicant countries in all research projects and pilot projects aimed at improving environmental protection and in the area of transport, particularly in the framework of the Community's Fifth RTD Programme and its environmental action programme.

(Amendment 30)
Article 2(4d) (new)

4d. The Community shall take great care to ensure that disproportionate subsidisation of road transport at the expense of the other modes of transport is avoided.

(Amendment 31)
Article 2(4e) (new)

4e. The Community shall ensure that there is optimal coordination of the ISPA, PHARE, TACIS and INTERREG programmes for the purpose of improving strategic border crossing points.

(Amendment 32)
Article 2(4f) (new)

4f. The Community shall ensure that applicant countries wishing to participate in its financing instrument for the environment (LIFE) are able to do so.

(Amendment 33)
Article 2(4g) (new)

4g. The Community shall promote participation by the applicant countries in the work of the European Environment Agency.

(Amendment 34)
Article 3, second paragraph

The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspectives.

The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspectives, in compliance with the principles of sound financial management established by Article 2 of the Financial Regulation.

(Amendment 35)
Article 3, second paragraph a (new)

Community support in the framework of ISPA shall be placed together with the other forms of pre-accession assistance in a separate budget category.

(Amendment 36)
Article 3, second paragraph b (new)

In the event of any delay in the accession of individual applicant countries, the financial perspective shall be amended so as to enable additional resources from the reserve for the new Member States to be transferred to ISPA.

(Amendment 37)
Article 4, first paragraph a (new)

In this indicative allocation of funds the Commission shall also take account of all other relevant, objective, precise criteria such as, for example, those which emerge - in the case of environmental protection - from the work of the European Environment Agency and - in the case of transport - from the conclusions of the TINA group.

(Amendment 38)
Article 5(1)

1. Measures financed by the Community under ISPA shall comply with the provisions set out in the Europe Agreements, including the implementing rules for the application of the provisions on State aids, and shall contribute to the achievement of Community policies, particularly those concerning environmental protection and improvement, transport and trans-European networks.

1. Measures financed by the Community under ISPA shall comply with the provisions set out in the Europe Agreements, including the implementing rules for the application of the provisions on State aids and Community legislation on public procurement, and shall contribute to the achievement of Community policies, particularly those concerning environmental protection and improvement, transport and trans-European networks.

(Amendment 39)
Article 5(3)

3. The Commission shall seek coordination and consistency between measures undertaken in the beneficiary countries pursuant to this Regulation and the operations of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank and other such financial institutions.

3. The Commission shall seek coordination and consistency between measures undertaken in the beneficiary countries pursuant to this Regulation and the bilateral operations of the Member States, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank and other such financial institutions.

(Amendment 40)
Article 6(4), first subparagraph

Preliminary studies and technical support measures may be financed exceptionally at 100% of the total cost.

Preliminary studies and technical support measures pertaining to projects deserving promotion and general technical assistance to the national, regional and local authorities, including environmental authorities, in the applicant countries may be financed exceptionally at 100% of the total cost.

(Amendment 41)
Article 6(4), second subparagraph

Total expenditure carried out at the Commission's initiative or on behalf of the Commission pursuant to this paragraph may not exceed 2% of the total allocation to ISPA.

Total expenditure carried out at the Commission's initiative or on behalf of the Commission pursuant to this paragraph may not exceed 4% of the total allocation to ISPA, with 1% of the funds being used for environmental studies.

(Amendment 42)
Article 6(4a) (new)

4a. Measures deserving support in accordance with Article 2(2) the cost of which is, exceptionally, lower than Euro 5 million, shall not account for more than 5% of the total ISPA budget.

(Amendment 43)
Article 7(2)

2. The beneficiary countries shall submit applications for assistance to the Commission. However, the Commission may grant assistance pursuant to Article 2(4) on its own initiative.

2. The beneficiary countries shall submit applications for assistance to the Commission. However, the Commission may grant assistance pursuant to Article 2(4) on its own initiative, where there is an overriding Community interest.

(Amendment 44)
Article 8(1)(b)

(b) For measures with a duration of less than two years or for which the Community assistance does not exceed EUR 20 million a first commitment of up to 80% of the assistance granted may take place when the financing memorandum is drawn up. The remainder will be committed subject to the state of the implementation of the measure.

(b) For measures with a duration of less than two years or for which the Community assistance does not exceed EUR 10 million a first commitment of up to 80% of the assistance granted may take place when the financing memorandum is drawn up. The remainder will be committed subject to the state of the implementation of the measure.

(Amendment 45)
Article 8(3)

3. Payments of financial assistance for measures may take the form either of advances or of intermediate payments or payments of balances in respect of expenditure certified and actually paid.

3. Payments of financial assistance for measures may take the form either of advances or of intermediate payments or payments of balances in respect of expenditure certified and actually paid.

The Commission shall adopt detailed rules on payments in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14.

Where the payment takes the form of an advance it shall be repaid by the payment authority if no payment request is sent to the Commission within 18 months of the decision.

It is first and foremost the beneficiary countries that are responsible for prosecuting irregularities, determining the implications of any substantial change in the nature or conditions for implementing or monitoring a measure, and making the necessary financial adjustments, without excluding the responsibility of the Commission.

Where the Commission considers that a beneficiary country has failed to comply with its obligations, it shall suspend the intermediate payments concerned and ask the beneficiary country to submit its observations within a specified period. On expiry of that period, and in the absence of adjustments by the beneficiary country, the Commission may reduce the advance or cancel all or part of the contribution concerned.

The Commission shall adopt detailed rules on payments in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14.

(Amendment 46)
Article 9(1)(a)

(a) to establish as from 1 January 2000 and in any event not later than 1 January 2002, management and control systems which ensure:

(a) to establish as from 1 January 2000 and in any event not later than 1 January 2001, management and control systems which ensure:

(Amendment 47)
Article 9(1)(b)

(b) to verify on a regular basis that the measures financed by the Community have been properly carried out;

(b) to verify on a regular basis that the measures financed by the Community have been properly carried out and that internal measures have been implemented in compliance with the principles of sound management;

(Amendment 48)
Article 9(1)(d)a (new)

(d)a. to check regularly that the measures financed by the Community contribute to the development of the region and do not perpetuate inefficient and environmentally damaging structures.

(Amendment 49)
Article 9(1)(e) (new)

(e) to submit an annual evaluation report.

(Amendment 50)
Article 9(4)

The financing memorandum shall also contain provisions concerning the reduction, suspension and cancellation of assistance where the implementation of a measure does not justify either a part or the whole of the assistance allocated.

The financing memorandum shall also contain provisions concerning the reduction, suspension and cancellation of assistance where the implementation of a measure does not justify either a part or the whole of the assistance allocated, particularly where insufficient account was taken of the strategic priorities of the applicant countries and where, with reference in particular to saving resources and the requirements of sustainable development, exact coherence of the projects was not observed, particularly where efficient administrative, monitoring, accompanying and assessment systems were not introduced.

(Amendment 51)
Article 12, second paragraph

The European Parliament shall deliver an opinion on the report as soon as possible. The Commission shall report on the manner in which that opinion has been taken into account.

The European Parliament shall deliver an opinion on the report within three months. The Commission shall report on the manner in which that opinion has been taken into account.

(Amendment 52)
Article 12, second paragraph a (new)

In the annual report for the following year the Commission shall report on the account it has taken of this opinion.

(Amendment 53)
Article 12, second paragraph b (new)

In 2003 the Commission shall draw up a midterm report on the implementation of ISPA. It shall at the same time, if necessary, present proposed amendments to the legal provisions then in force, which it shall submit to the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions for their opinions.

(Amendment 54)
Article 14, first paragraph

In implementing this Regulation, the Commission shall be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission. The European Investment Bank shall appoint a non-voting representative.

In implementing this Regulation, the Commission shall be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of representatives of the Member States and of the beneficiary countries and chaired by the representative of the Commission. The European Investment Bank shall appoint a non-voting representative.

(Amendment 55)
Article 15(1)

The Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission, shall re-examine this Regulation by 31 December 2006. It shall act on the proposal in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 253 of the Treaty.

The Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission, shall re-examine this Regulation by 31 December 2006 with a view to its possible extension. It shall act on the proposal in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 253 of the Treaty.

(Amendment 56)
Annex I(4)

4. a cost-benefit analysis, including the direct and indirect effects on employment;

4. a cost-benefit analysis, including the direct and indirect effects on employment, to be quantified where possible;

(Amendment 57)
Annex I(6)

6. information on the place and priority of the measure within the national environmental strategy as laid down in the national programme for the adoption of the acquis communautaire;

6. information on the place and priority of the measure within the national environmental strategy as laid down in the national programme for the adoption of the acquis communautaire, and on the participation of women in all stages of the decision-making process;

(Amendment 58)
Annex I(7)

7. information on the national transport development strategy and the place and priority of the measures within that strategy;

7. information on the national transport development strategy, the place and priority of the measures within that strategy, including the degree of coherence with the guidelines for the trans-European networks and the panEuropean transport policy;

(Amendment 59)
Annex I(8a) (new)

8a. details on compliance with basic employee rights and on consideration of groups that are particularly socially disadvantaged;

(Amendment 60)
ANNEX II(A)(1)

1. their economic and social benefits, including their potential for leverage of private financing, which shall be commensurate with the resources deployed; an assessment shall be made in the light of a cost-benefit analysis;

1. their economic, employment policy and social benefits, including their potential for leverage of private financing, which shall be commensurate with the resources deployed; an assessment shall be made in the light of a cost-benefit analysis;

(Amendment 61)
Annex II(B)

B. The Commission may invite the EIB, EBRD or World Bank to contribute to the appraisal of measures as necessary. The Commission shall examine applications for assistance to verify in particular that the administrative and financial mechanisms are adequate for the effective implementation of the measure.

B. In cases where they are involved in the cofunding of projects, the Commission may invite the EIB, EBRD or World Bank to contribute to the appraisal of measures as necessary. The Commission shall examine applications for assistance to verify in particular that the administrative and financial mechanisms are adequate for the effective implementation of the measure.

(Amendment 62)
Annex III(D)(4)(ea) (new)

(ea) the impact of the measures in terms of job creation.

(Amendment 63)
ANNEX III(F)

F. Ex-post evaluation shall cover the utilization of resources and the effectiveness and efficiency of assistance and its impact. It shall cover the factors contributing to the success or failure of implementation of measures and the achievements and results. After the completion of measures, the Commission and the beneficiary countries shall therefore evaluate the manner, including the efficient and effective use of resources, in which they have been carried out. The evaluation shall also cover the actual impact of their implementation in order to assess whether the original objectives have been achieved. This evaluation shall, inter alia, address the contribution made by measures to the implementation of Community policies on the environment or to the contribution of trans-European networks and common transport policies, and they shall also assess the environmental impact of the measures.

F. Ex-post evaluation shall cover the utilization of resources and the effectiveness and efficiency of assistance and its impact. It shall cover the factors contributing to the success or failure of implementation of measures and the achievements and results. After the completion of measures, the Commission and the beneficiary countries shall therefore evaluate the manner, including the efficient and effective use of resources, in which they have been carried out. The evaluation shall also cover the actual impact of their implementation in order to assess whether the original objectives have been achieved. This evaluation shall, inter alia, address the contribution made by measures to the implementation of Community policies on the environment or to the contribution of trans-European networks and common transport policies, and they shall also assess the short- and long-term social and employment consequences of the measures as well as their environmental impact.

(Amendment 64)
Annex IV(2)

2. the contribution which the Community assistance under ISPA made to the efforts of the beneficiary countries to implement Community environment policy and to strengthen transEuropean transport infrastructure networks; the balance between measures in the field of the environment and measures relating to transport infrastructure;

2. the contribution which the Community assistance under ISPA made to the efforts of the beneficiary countries to implement Community environment policy, the common transport policy and policy on trans-European networks; the balance between measures in the field of the environment and measures relating to transport infrastructure;

(Amendment 65)
Annex IV(2a) (new)

2a. the impact on employment of the measures for which funding is provided;

(Amendment 66)
ANNEX IV(3)

3. assessment of the compatibility of operation of Community assistance under ISPA with Community policies, including those concerning environmental protection, transport, competition and the award of public contracts;

3. assessment of the compatibility of operation of Community assistance under ISPA with Community policies, including those concerning environmental protection, transport, competition, employment and social policy and the award of public contracts;

(Amendment 67)
Annex IV(3a) (new)

3a. a breakdown of the measures in the infrastructure sector according to mode of transport;

Legislative resolution embodying Parliament's opinion on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an instrument for structural policies for pre-accession (COM(1998)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091(CNS))

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council, COM(1998)0138 - 98/0091(CNS),

- having regard to the Commission communication to the Council on Agenda 2000: Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession (ISPA), assistance to applicant countries (COM(98)0182),

- having been consulted by the Council pursuant to Article 235 of the EC Treaty (C4-0301/98),

- having regard to Rule 58 of its Rules of Procedure,

- having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Policy and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on External Economic Relations, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection and the Committee on Women's Rights (A4-0382/98),

1. Approves the Commission proposal, subject to Parliament's amendments;

2. Calls on the Council to notify Parliament should it intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3. Calls for the conciliation procedure to be opened should the Council intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4. Asks to be consulted again should the Council intend to make substantial modifications to the Commission proposal;

5. Instructs its President to forward this opinion to the Council and Commission.

(1)() OJ C 164, 29.5.1998, p. 4
(2)() OJ C 388, 22.12.1997, pp. 10 & 17
(3)() OJ C 195, 22.06.1998, pp. 14 & 52
(4)() Minutes of 14.07.1998, part II
(5)() COM(98)0131 final


 B EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

I. NEED FOR A PRE-ACCESSION STRATEGY

The European Parliament, in its resolution of 4 December 1997 on the Commission communication 'Agenda 2000: for a stronger and wider Union', came down firmly on the side of enlargement. A common legal act to this effect was concluded with all the applicant countries on condition that they fulfilled the criteria laid down at the Copenhagen European Council (respect for democracy, taking over the acquis communautaire, the ability to develop a market economy able to keep pace with the competitive pressure of the internal market).

In parallel with the accession negotiations, the duration and rate of which will vary with the capacities of the countries concerned, a pre-accession strategy, also approved by the European Parliament, was developed for all the applicant countries.

1. A considerable need

The pre-accession instrument is based on the concept of the Cohesion Fund, i.e. it is directly mainly towards bringing legislation in the applicant countries into line with Community law in two areas - the environment and transport.

However, the need in these area is great. According to the Commission's estimates, the cost of the investment needed to establish the trans-European transport network will be Euro 50 to 90 billion over a period of 15 years, which represents only the cost of adapting roads and rail tracks to western European standards and dealing with the expected increase in the volume of traffic, and does not include the cost of new sections of road and railway tracks.

According to the estimates available, in the area of the environment the cost of the measures needed to adopt the acquis communautaire will amount to approximately Euro 100 billion for the ten Central and Eastern European countries applying for membership.

2. Slender means

In addition to the PHARE programme (Euro 1.5 billion per year) and pre-accession support for agriculture (Euro 500 million per year from the year 2000), the Pre-Accession Instrument for Structural Policies (ISPA) gives rise to costs of Euro 1 billion per year. The sum of the aid being made available to the applicant countries by the EU (leaving aside the loans from the EIB and EBRD) is, when measured against their great needs, small.

As far as the applicant countries themselves are concerned, the average per capita GDP in all regions amounts to only 35% of the EU average, with the exception of Slovenia, the Czech Republic and the regions in which most of the Central and Eastern European capital cities are situated. In other words, the Central and Eastern European countries' own financial resources are extremely limited, although many of them have registered high levels of growth in recent years (with the exception of Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania). The capacity to absorb Community funding was generally set at 4% of GNP. In view of this immense challenge and the limited means available by comparison with requirements, the ISPA structural-policy instrument must at least be implemented in the best possible way.

II. EFFICIENT USE OF ISPA

In these circumstances ISPA can only make a useful contribution to the pre-accession strategy if it is implemented in the most efficient way possible.

1. A targeted strategy

The EU's willingness to accept the applicant countries is not limited to giving them access to the single market; it goes much further than this, aiming to make them full Member States and, with this in mind, to include them as of now in the priority aim of economic and social cohesion - that symbol of solidarity between the strongest and weakest Member States and the sole guarantee of the harmonious development of the Union as a whole.

It is for this reason that the aim in the present pre-accession phase is, following the example of the Cohesion Fund, to target development projects towards two main objectives - environmental protection and improving the transport infrastructure. In principle, a balanced ratio (50/50%) must be aimed at in order to achieve progress in these two areas. However, studies which are already available and current developments could, depending on the environment and transport situation in each of the countries, cause the principle of balanced investment in these two areas to be relaxed if it seems to be excessively rigid and inappropriate.

In Poland, for example, away from the heavily polluted urban areas there are large areas of relatively unspoilt countryside. Likewise, as far as transport infrastructure is concerned, the western border areas of the Central and Eastern European countries are predestined to undergo rapid economic growth, whereas in the eastern regions and some rural mountainous areas or central regions, which in any case have very inadequate transport infrastructures, it is to be feared that economic backwardness will increase still further as a result of the peripheral location of these regions(1).

Environmental protection is the sine qua non for sustainable development and an undeniable factor in employment and the attractiveness of regions. However, as has already been shown in the context of the Cohesion Fund in the EU, the Member States tend to give preferential treatment to transport infrastructure projects to the detriment of projects for improving the quality of the environment. The danger of undesirable developments of this kind is particularly great in the case of the applicant countries. This is why it is absolutely essential that these countries should undertake to fulfil the environmental requirements of the acquis communautaire and that this should be monitored.

Fully developed, modern transport infrastructure is essential for the competitiveness of the applicant countries. The Commission therefore recommends the introduction of a partnership for the transEuropean networks. At the Second Pan-European Transport Conference (Crete, 1994), the number of these transport corridors, which in the case of Central and Eastern European consist mainly of railway tracks and roads, was set at nine. This was to lead to the development of a multi-modal and balanced pan-European transport infrastructure.

This targeted pre-accession strategy is all the more necessary because the differences between the regions will become greater with enlargement. Also, with this targeted plan, unlike the Commission proposal, the provision of financial assistance for measures whose total cost amounts to less than Euro 5 million can be justified.

This short overview thus suggests that a targeted, strongly differentiated strategy is the best option. From this point of view the Commission, in the indicative allocation of Community funds between the beneficiary countries (Article 4), should take as its basis, as well as excessively general criteria such as per capita GNP, population and surface area, more appropriate criteria such as the environmental sustainability of the measures and benchmarking of environmental achievements by industry, making a more exact targeting of investment possible.

2. Coherent and strict implementation of the pre-accession strategy

(a) Coherent implementation of the pre-accession strategy

In order to be efficient, the various European pre-accession instruments must fulfil the criterion of coherency. This is the purpose of the Regulation on coordinating aid to the applicant countries in the framework of the pre-accession strategy(2). This effort to achieve coherency must also be to the fore in public and private investment decisions relating to the implementation of ISPA. The effort to achieve maximum concentration, which will apply to the EU countries under the reform of the structural funds, must inform the pre-accession strategy. It would be inconsistent if, for example, in the case of environmental protection the new industrial investments did not comply with the acquis communautaire. On the basis of the approach recommended in the Fifth Programme for the Environment, there are even grounds for choosing a preventive approach.

The same goes for investment in transport infrastructure, which must fit into the overall context of European regional planning: excessive investment in the road network and superfluous investment must be avoided and, in the initial stages in particular, investment must be targeted at the strategic areas in which inadequate transport infrastructure threatens most seriously to jeopardise economic development (strategic border crossing points). Environmental aspects must, of course, be incorporated in the planning and development of the pan-European transport network (sustainable mobility).

Investment by the EIB, the EBRD and any other supraregional organisations (e.g. the association of Baltic Sea states) must also meet this criterion of coherency.

In addition, the applicant countries must make an effort to cooperate among themselves to this end.

(b) Strict implementation

For this reason, the financing agreements concluded with each of the applicant countries should include provision for the curtailment, suspension or even complete withdrawal of financial aid in the event of clear failure to take account of the strategic priorities and/or the criterion of coherency of the projects as regards the economic use of funds and promoting sustainable development.

(c) Budgetary considerations

AT the budgetary level, it would be desirable, with a view to transparency, for all European aid for the pre-accession strategy, i.e. ISPA, aid for agriculture and the PHARE programme, to be grouped together in future under a single heading in the EU budget.

Finally, should the accession process be delayed, the financial perspectives should be revised in such a way that at least part of the reserve for the new Member States can be transferred to ISPA.

3. Respect for ethnic minorities

As the Commission stressed in its communication 'Agenda 2000', the treatment of minorities in several countries still leaves a great deal to be desired: these include the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia and Estonia and the gypsies in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. The institutional reforms in the framework of which the countries concerned are to be provided with regional institutions must not lead to these minorities being politically and economically marginalised. This would be unacceptable.

III. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE APPLICANT COUNTRIES

1. Technical assistance

As the Commission says, the applicant countries undoubtedly need technical assistance in devising and implementing their projects. In general, their national and regional administrative authorities, in so far as they exist, are faced with a difficult adjustment in order to come into line with EU legislation. For this reason, the Commission's excessively low proposal for the entire ISPA budget for specific technical assistance and general training of officials and those responsible for the implementation of the instrument must be raised from 2% to 5%.

The development of harmonised NUTS II statistics could also be a technical priority in the applicant countries.

The idea of regional development, which has long been neglected in the Central and Eastern European countries, must be revived. The preconditions for this are institutional reforms (some are already under way, for example the creation of autonomous districts in Bulgaria, division into 14 regions in the Czech Republic and the concentration of 49 voivodships into 12 units in Poland), and training of staff to implement these reforms and to train others in the principles of partnership and assessment.

2. Involvement of the applicant countries

Finally, the applicant countries must start now to participate in all European bodies in which policy and measures in the fields of the environment (European Environment Agency, LIFE programme) and transport (TINA group and all European standardisation bodies in the field of transport) are developed, as well as in the implementation of the Fifth RTD Programme, with a view to promoting a European transport technology policy based on interoperability of standards together with the Central and Eastern European countries. This is in keeping with the desire of the applicant countries for information and training.

IV. ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

1. Monitoring

The implementation of ISPA will be monitored in a number of ways. The applicant country concerned and the Commission will apply joint procedures to assess and monitor the implementation of ISPA in accordance with the provisions of the individual financing agreements.

The Commission will be supported in the implementation of the regulation on ISPA by an advisory committee (made up of representatives of the Member States and a representative of the EIB - without voting rights -, with the Commission representative acting as chair).

Finally, the Commission will present an annual report on the functioning of ISPA to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

2. Role of the European Parliament

The European Parliament must be closely associated in this monitoring process:

- in accordance with the current plans for reviewing the committee procedure, it must already be clearly established that the European Parliament will be fully informed of the work of the advisory committee;

- the Commission must state in its annual report the following year what account it has taken of Parliament's comments, in order that the latter may react.

In view of the uncertainty of developments at present, the Commission must present a mid-term review of the implementation of ISPA in the year 2003 and, if necessary, a proposal for changing the way in which ISPA operates, to which the European Parliament will be invited to react.

Seen in the longer term, it is sensible to mention now (Article 15) that the Council should review this Regulation by 31 December 2003 at the latest (and preferably sooner) with a view to its possible extension, taking into account the particular situation of each applicant country, progress made towards accession, possible adoption of the Euro by the applicant country, and any particular difficulties certain applicant countries may still be facing and which might, under certain circumstances, justify an extension of ISPA beyond the year 2006.

13 October 1998

(1)() If, for example, one takes as an objective indicator the distances as the crow flies between Frankfurt am Main and the capitals of the 25 Central and Eastern European countries and the Member States, Portugal, Greece and Finland are the furthest away, with distances of 1500 to 1800 km; of the Central and Eastern European countries, Estonia and Romania are furthest away (1400 km), whereas the Czech Republic is only 400 km from Frankfurt am Main and occupies a central position among the Central and Eastern European countries.
(2)() COM(98)150


 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on Regional Policy

on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an instrument for structural policies for pre-accession (COM(98)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091(CNS)) (Rapporteur: Ralf Walter);

Committee on Budgets

Draftsman: Mrs Edith Müller

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 3 June 1998 the Committee on Budgets appointed Mrs Edith Müller draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meeting of 12/13 October 1998.

At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following took part in the vote: Tillich, acting chairman; Müller, draftsman; Bösch, Brinkhorst, Christodoulou (for Bardong), Colom I Naval, Dankert, Dührkop Dührkop, Elles, Fabra Valles, Garriga Polledo, Imaz San Miguel, Jöns (for Ghilardotti), Kellett-Bowman (for Böge), Krehl, Laignel, McCartin, Miranda, Morgan (for Haug), Pronk (for Podesta), Rübig (for Bourlanges), Seppänen, Sonneveld (for Theato pursuant to Rule 138(2)), Tomlinson and Viola (for Di Prima).

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

1. The Committee on Budgets will present its opinion on the ISPA Instrument, which will concentrate on the aspects having a direct or indirect influence on the resources and the management of the Instrument.

2. The Committee on Budgets held an informal hearing with representatives of all candidate countries where the problems and expectations of these countries were discussed. In particular, the efforts they are making to improve their administrative structures to implement Community policies must be acknowledged.

3. Institution building is probably the most challenging for the candidate countries to create a solid environment where European integration and economic development should be built up.

4.The stabilisation of the countries in the EU's neighbourhood is not only the ambitious objective of a number of countries which suffered economic depression due to the regime, but the unique perspective of the European countries to stabilise politically and economically, and to guarantee a high standard of living with safe environmental protection and an efficient management of the natural resources.

5. The European Union is ready to accept this challenge and to invest financial resources: these resources will appear as excessive to some, and a mere bagatelle to others. Certainly they are inadequate, if one wanted to endow them now with amounts proportional to those received by the main beneficiary countries within the current Union. Therefore, the Community's resources have to be utilised as effectively as possible. Priority must be given even more than usual to the purposes of achieving a high European added value and those conditions indispensable for joining the internal market.

By contributing to a more efficient allocation of natural and economic resources this instrument will help in preparing the conditions for a rapid EU-accession. Accession, in turn, will underpin the sustainable improvement of living standards in the accession countries, i.e. increase economic growth without depleting - "unmeasurably" - valuable environmental resources.

These conditions are also intended to contribute to a favourable economic environment in rural/agricultural areas, thus easing migration pressure within and towards the outside of beneficiary countries.

For these reasons, it is essential that the legislative framework - within which the financial resources will be committed - be the most efficient and adequate for the situation : in this sense, to ensure a better framework, procedures need to be rigorous enough to guarantee good use of public money but, at the same time, the necessary flexibility to invest in all sectors of the economy to boost economic development through the improvement of infrastructures, the modernisation of agriculture and rural areas respecting the environment and improvement of the economy.

The amendments your rapporteur proposes are inspired by these principles, and she is aware that the way in which the instruments are organised through consultation was probably not the best to ensure coherence in management. Splitting the pre-accession instrument between three committees could encourage the multiplication of legislative and executive measures and of organs that, in the end, will only ensure the complication of bureaucratic procedures without giving any concrete guarantee to the efficiency of the management.

Within this framework, your rapporteur submits to the Committee on Budgets the rejection of the coordination regulation that seems only to duplicate paperwork, taking up a task that can be easily concentrated within the ISPA - Instrument.

In this respect, the ISPA should be coordinated with the agricultural dimension of the pre-accession aid and thus both be integrated under the name "Ready for Accession Dynamics - READY". READY, aiming at economic knock-on effects, can develop its dynamic boosting of the economy only through the simultaneous application of the different mechanisms, In this way, the READY instrument will guarantee a unique framework for the ISPA and Agriculture measures.

Proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an instrument for structural policies for pre-accession (COM(98)0138 - 98/0091(CNS) - C-4-0301/98)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Recital 3

Whereas, however, the conclusions of the European Council provide that the assistance provided for in this Regulation is to be granted for the time being to the ten applicant countries of central and eastern Europe;

Whereas, however, the conclusions of the European Council provide that the assistance provided for in this Regulation is to be granted for the time being to the ten applicant countries of central and eastern Europe, provided that the commitment to implement the changes required to facilitate accession is fulfilled;

(Amendment 2)
Recital 4

Whereas Council Regulation (EC) No 622/98 of 16 March 1998 on assistance to the applicant States in the framework of the preaccession strategy, and in particular on the establishment of Accession Partnerships(1), provides that those partnerships are to comprise a single framework for the priority areas and all available resources for pre-accession assistance;

Whereas Council Regulation (EC) No 622/98 of 16 March 1998 on assistance to the applicant States in the framework of the preaccession strategy, and in particular on the establishment of Accession Partnerships(2), provides that those partnerships are to comprise a single framework for the priority areas and all available resources for pre-accession assistance, as soon as the political conditions are satisfied;

(Amendment 3)
Recital 10a (new)

whereas an arrangement should be put in place for monitoring the rate of utilisation of resources and any reprogramming between countries;

(Amendment 4)
Article 2a (new)

Community assistance shall not be granted unless all the political and economic conditions are satisfied and there is a commitment to continue the reforms necessary to make accession possible.

(Amendment 5)
Article 2(4)

4. Assistance may also be granted for:

4. Assistance may, within the limit that will be established in the budgetary decisions, also be granted for:

(a) preliminary studies related to eligible measures, including those necessary for their implementation; and

(a) preliminary studies related to eligible measures, including those necessary for their implementation and

(b) technical support measures, including information and publicity actions, particularly:

(b) technical support measures including information and publicity actions, particularly:

(i) horizontal measures such as comparative studies to assess the impact of Community assistance;

(i) horizontal measures such as comparative studies to assess the impact of Community assistance;

(ii) measures and studies which contribute to the appraisal, monitoring, evaluation or control of projects and to strengthening and ensuring the coordination and consistency of projects with the Accession Partnerships; and

(ii) measures and studies which contribute to the appraisal, monitoring, evaluation or control of projects and to strengthening and ensuring the coordination and consistency of projects with the Accession Partnerships; and

(iii) measures and studies to ensure effective project management and implementation and to make any necessary adjustments.

(iii) measures and studies to ensure effective project management and implementation and to make any necessary adjustments.

(Amendment 6)
Article 3, second paragraph

The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspectives.

The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspectives, in compliance with the principles of sound financial management established by Article 2 of the Financial Regulation.

(Amendment 7)
Article 7(2)

2. The beneficiary countries shall submit applications for assistance to the Commission. However, the Commission may grant assistance pursuant to Article 2(4) on its own initiative.

2. The beneficiary countries shall submit applications for assistance to the Commission. However, the Commission may grant assistance pursuant to Article 2(4) on its own initiative, where there is an overriding Community interest.

(Amendment 8)
Article 8(1)(b)

(b) For measures with a duration of less than two years or for which the Community assistance does not exceed EUR 20 million a first commitment of up to 80% of the assistance granted may take place when the financing memorandum is drawn up. The remainder will be committed subject to the state of the implementation of the measure.

(b) For measures with a duration of less than two years or for which the Community assistance does not exceed EUR 10 million a first commitment of up to 80% of the assistance granted may take place when the financing memorandum is drawn up. The remainder will be committed subject to the state of the implementation of the measure.

(Amendment 9)
Article 8(3)

3. Payments of financial assistance for measures may take the form either of advances or of intermediate payments or payments of balances in respect of expenditure certified and actually paid.

3. Payments of financial assistance for measures may take the form either of advances or of intermediate payments or payments of balances in respect of expenditure certified and actually paid.

The Commission shall adopt detailed rules on payments in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14.

Where the payment takes the form of an advance it shall be repaid by the payment authority if no payment request is sent to the Commission within 18 months of the decision.

It is first and foremost the beneficiary countries that are responsible for prosecuting irregularities, determining the implications of any substantial change in the nature or conditions for implementing or monitoring a measure, and making the necessary financial adjustments, without excluding the responsibility of the Commission..

Where the Commission considers that a beneficiary country has failed to comply with its obligations, it shall suspend the intermediate payments concerned and ask the beneficiary country to submit its observations within a specified period. On expiry of that period, and in the absence of adjustments by the beneficiary country, the Commission may reduce the advance or cancel all or part of the contribution concerned.

The Commission shall adopt detailed rules on payments in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14.

(Amendment 10)
Article 9(1)(b)

(b) to verify on a regular basis that the measures financed by the Community have been properly carried out;

(b) to verify on a regular basis that the measures financed by the Community have been properly carried out and that internal measures have been implemented in compliance with the principles of sound management;

(Amendment 11)
Article 9(1)(e) (new)

(e) to submit an annual evaluation report.

(Amendment 12)
Article 12, second paragraph

The European Parliament shall deliver an opinion on the report as soon as possible. The Commission shall report on the manner in which that opinion has been taken into account.

The European Parliament shall deliver an opinion on the report within three months. The Commission shall report on the manner in which that opinion has been taken into account.

29 September 1998

(1) OJ L 85, 20.3.1998, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 85, 20.3.1998, p. 1.


 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on Regional Policy

on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) on establishing an Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession (COM(98)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091(CNS)) (report by Mr Ralf Walter)

Committee on External Economic Relations

Draftsman: Fernando Moniz

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 25 June 1998 the Committee on External Economic Relations appointed Fernando Moniz draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 1 September and 29 September 1998.

At the latter meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following took part in the vote: Moniz, acting chairman and draftsman; Sainjon, vice-chairman; Ferrer, Kreissl-Dörfler, Mann, Porto, Seppänen (for Castellina) and Valdivielso de Cué.

CONCLUSIONS

The Committee on External Economic Relations calls on the Committee on Regional Policy to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Recital 6a (new)

Whereas, in connection with the conditions attached to accession, the applicant countries must not, with a view to attracting direct foreign investment, grant third-country undertakings or products more favourable commercial or financial treatment than that afforded to their EC counterparts;

Justification
The applicant countries have formally announced that EU accession is the main objective of their foreign policies. It would therefore be unacceptable to economic and social operators, and to European public opinion in general, for the applicant countries - to which, for the first time in their history, the EU is prepared to grant a far-reaching package of financial aid designed to facilitate their integration - to grant third-country undertakings or products more favourable commercial or financial treatment than that afforded to their EU counterparts, with a view to attracting direct foreign investment.
(Amendment 2)
Recital 8a (new)

Whereas the gradual application by the applicant countries of the acquis communautaire in the environmental sphere is of vital importance in order to ensure that trade relations between the European Community and those countries are not adversely affected by disparities in environmental protection standards;

Justification
The applicant countries have undertaken to bring their environmental legislation into line with Community law. The gradual approximation of national legislation in this area will have a major impact on economic and commercial relations between the Union and the applicant countries.
The purpose of this amendment is to prevent the application of less stringent laws on emissions, the treatment of industrial waste and technical controls during the production and treatment of packaging materials, from distorting the cost of manufactured or semi-manufactured products in the applicant countries, thus distorting trade and encouraging the relocation of industrial undertakings operating in sectors subjected to stringent environmental restrictions (mineral and metal processing, the paper industry and the leather and tanning industries).
(Amendment 3)
Recital 12a (new)

Whereas gradually transferring the management responsibilities to the beneficiary countries constitutes a useful preparation for accession, in that it familiarises the administrations of the applicant countries with the European Community's working methods in structural fund-related matters;

Justification
Gradually transferring management responsibilities to the governments of the beneficiary countries should enhance the efficiency and speed up the implementation of Community aid, by allowing decisions to be taken as close as possible to the point of impact. Furthermore, the fact that the beneficiary countries will be contributing from their own funds (co-financing) will increase their involvement in the measures taken and introduce a funding method similar to that used for the Structural Funds.
(Amendment 4)
Recital 12b (new)

Whereas, however, Article 107 of the Financial Regulation makes the Commission responsible for ensuring that external aid is correctly used and, therefore, decentralisation in the beneficiary countries should, wherever possible, be extended to management, with due care; whereas decentralisation can be extended provided that ex-post control of the financial operations is carried out, and the applicant countries' administrations undertake to apply the same controls and provide the same guarantees as laid down in the relevant Community legislation

Justification
Decentralisation should be backed-up by proper monitoring of all significant measures for implementing the projects. For that reason, a proper relationship needs to be established in which the candidate countries share responsibility with the Commission (which is responsible for the correct use of external aid, pursuant to Article 107 of the Financial Regulation).It should be possible increasingly to decentralise larger and larger amounts of aid, providing the Commission exercises 'ex post' control of the financial operations, and the applicant countries' administrations undertake to apply the same level of control and financial guarantees (i.e. the recovery of the aid concerned if funding is incorrectly paid out) as are laid down in the Community's financial regulations.
(Amendment 5)
Article 5(1)

1. Measures financed by the Community under ISPA shall comply with the provisions set out in the Europe Agreements, including the implementing rules for the application of the provisions on State aids, and shall contribute to the achievement of Community policies, particularly those concerning environmental protection and improvement, transport and trans-European networks.

1. Measures financed by the Community under ISPA shall comply with the provisions set out in the Europe Agreements, including the implementing rules for the application of the provisions on State aids and Community legislation on public procurement, and shall contribute to the achievement of Community policies, particularly those concerning environmental protection and improvement, transport and trans-European networks.

Justification
The procedures for the award of contracts are among the most frequently criticised aspects of Phare programme management, both in the reports produced by the Court of Auditors and, in turn, in the opinions delivered by the EP. In its Wiersma (A4-0165/97) and Hansen (A4-0286/97) reports on the Phare programme, Parliament noted the Commission's undertaking to tighten up the management of award procedures and recommended that the use of restricted tendering procedures be strictly limited.
The purpose of this amendment is to emphasise the importance of this aspect of ISPA management by including it in the main body of the regulation and not just in the annex thereto.
(Amendment 6)
Article 5(3)

3. The Commission shall seek coordination and consistency between measures undertaken in the beneficiary countries pursuant to this Regulation and the operations of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank and other such financial institutions.

3. The Commission shall seek coordination and consistency between measures undertaken in the beneficiary countries pursuant to this Regulation and the bilateral operations of the Member States, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank and other such financial institutions.

Justification
This amendment is intended to underline the crucial importance of internal coordination with the bilateral aid provided by the Member States, which goes beyond the necessary exchange of information on identifying and selecting projects, and also includes coordinating aid strategies with a view to increasing the complementarity and synergy of Union assistance as a whole.
(Amendment 7)
Article 5(3a) (new)

3a. The Commission shall encourage the applicant countries to make their respective regional and environmental policies compatible with one another, to link up their road and rail networks and to take a joint approach to planning in their border regions;

Justification
The Commission's reports on the applications for accession highlight the poor state of infrastructure in the applicant countries, which will make it more difficult for them to cope with the competitive pressures generated by market forces in the Community (one of the Copenhagen criteria). Unless such infrastructure problems (stretching from the extension of the major trans-European networks to the domestic networks inside the applicant countries and their interconnection) are tackled without delay, bottlenecks will occur when trade flows pick up after accession, thus undermining the benefits which integration into an enlarged Union is expected to produce.
The aim of this amendment is to emphasise the need to ensure that funding covers projects to link up the applicant countries' road and rail networks, on the basis of compatible regional and environmental policies, particularly in border regions.
29 September 1998

 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on Regional Policy

on the proposal for a Council Regulation establishing an Instrument for Structural policies for preaccession (COM(98)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091 (CNS)) (report by Mr Ralf Walter)

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

Draftsman: Mr Ettl

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 16 April 1998 the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs appointed Mr Ettl draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 3 September and 24 September 1998.

At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following took part in the vote: Hughes, Ojala vice-chairman; Ettl, draftsman; Andersson, Cabezón, Correia, Glase, Jöns, Lindqvist, Mann, Peter, Pronk, Schmidbauer (for McMahon), Schörling, Skinner, Theonas, Van Lancker, Van Velzen, Waddington, Weiler and Wolf.

CONCLUSIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs asks the committee responsible to take the following amendments into consideration:

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Annex I(4)

4. a cost-benefit analysis, including the direct and indirect effects on employment;

4. a cost-benefit analysis, including the direct and indirect effects on employment, to be quantified where possible;

Applications for assistance should be as precise as possible on the employments effects of a measure to be financed under this Regulation. It goes without saying that employment effects of the measure must be beneficial.
(Amendment 2)
Annex I(8a) (new)

8a. details on compliance with basic employee rights and on consideration of groups that are particularly socially disadvantaged;

(Amendment 3)
ANNEX II (1)

1. their economic and social benefits, including their potential for leverage of private financing, which shall be commensurate with the resources deployed; an assessment shall be made in the light of a cost-benefit analysis;

1. their economic, employment policy and social benefits, including their potential for leverage of private financing, which shall be commensurate with the resources deployed; an assessment shall be made in the light of a cost-benefit analysis;

Positive employment benefits need to be also a criterion in appraising measures. Furthermore it is also important to consider social costs as future investment projects should improve not only economic profitability but also the living standards of the employees.
(Amendment 4)
ANNEX III

F. Ex-post evaluation shall cover the utilisation of resources and the effectiveness and efficiency of assistance and its impact. It shall cover the factors contributing to the success or failure of implementation of measures and the achievements and results. After the completion of measures, the Commission and the beneficiary countries shall therefore evaluate the manner, including the efficient and effective use of resources, in which they have been carried out. The evaluation shall also cover the actual impact of their implementation in order to assess whether the original objectives have been achieved. This evaluation shall, inter alia, address the contribution made by measures to the implementation of Community policies on the environment or to the contribution of trans-European networks and common transport policies, and they shall also assess the environmental impact of the measures.

F. Ex-post evaluation shall cover the utilisation of resources and the effectiveness and efficiency of assistance and its impact. It shall cover the factors contributing to the success or failure of implementation of measures and the achievements and results. After the completion of measures, the Commission and the beneficiary countries shall therefore evaluate the manner, including the efficient and effective use of resources, in which they have been carried out. The evaluation shall also cover the actual impact of their implementation in order to assess whether the original objectives have been achieved. This evaluation shall, inter alia, address the contribution made by measures to the implementation of Community policies on the environment or to the contribution of trans-European networks and common transport policies, and they shall also assess the short- and long-term social and employment consequences of the measures as well as their environmental impact.

Ex-post assessments of the completed projects must in particular take account, over and above the criteria mentioned, of the projects' social and employment policy effects.
(Amendment 5)
ANNEX IV

3. assessment of the compatibility of operation of Community assistance under ISPA with Community policies, including those concerning environmental protection, transport, competition and the award of public contracts;

3. assessment of the compatibility of operation of Community assistance under ISPA with Community policies, including those concerning environmental protection, transport, competition, employment and social policy and the award of public contracts;

Comprehensive reports and summaries of Commission activities and of the projects it has (co-) financed must in particular also take account of these projects' social and employment policy effects.
29 September 1998

 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on Regional Policy

on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession (COM(98)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091 (CNS)) (report by Mr Ralf Walter)

Committee on Transport and Tourism

Draftsman: Mr Pedro Aparicio Sánchez

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 19 May 1998 the Committee on Transport and Tourism appointed Mr Aparicio Sánchez draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 2 and 29 September 1998.

At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Bazin, chairman; Wijsenbeek and Sisó Cruellas, vicechairmen; Aparicio Sánchez, draftsman; Baldarelli, Bennasar Tous (for Ferri), Camisón Asensio, Castricum, Cornelissen, Danesin, Farassino (for Schifone), González Triviño, Jarzembowski, Klironomos, Koch, Lagendijk, Langenhagen, Linser, McIntosh, McMahon (for Piecyk), Megahy, Paasio (for Seal), Schifone, Schmidbauer, Schierhuber (for Sarlis), Simpson, Sindal, Stenmarck and van Dam.

I. INTRODUCTION

Your draftsman appreciates the Commission's commitment to facilitating the integration of the applicant countries into the European Union by means of structural pre-accession instruments which give priority to transport and the environment. However, he also notes that the financial resources made available for this objective are minimal - barely 1 billion euro for the period 2000-2006. He also notes that the legal basis chosen for the draft regulation, in accordance with the conclusions of the Luxembourg European Council of December 1997, is Article 235, which provides for unanimity in the Council and mere consultation of the European Parliament.

The willingness for dialogue shown by the Council and Commission regarding the Agenda 2000 package nevertheless means that it would be useful for the European Parliament to express its ideas on the subject and it is to be hoped that the Committee on Regional Affairs, as the committee responsible, will take into account the ideas and suggestions submitted by the Committee on Transport and Tourism, in the light of the experience acquired in this area as a result of organising a number of debates on enlargement and on a pan-European transport policy.

The Committee on Transport and Tourism recently adopted a report on connecting the Union's transport infrastructure network to its neighbours (COM(97)172 - A-40241/98), whilst on

29 October 1997 it adopted an opinion on Agenda 2000 - the impact of enlargement on Community policies (COM(97)2000 - PE 223.898). It also adopted an own-initiative report on the third panEuropean Transport Conference held in Helsinki from 22 to 24 June 1997. Since these official documents are available, it seems unnecessary to present once again the general arguments concerning these topics, but to go straight to the issues raised by the Commission's proposal for a regulation.

II. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS

The adjustments proposed by the Committee on Transport concern three priorities:

1. priority to be given to the works rather than studies;

2. priority to be given to the most efficient forms of transport in order to achieve lasting and safe mobility;

3. priority to be given to intermodal junctions and trans-national bottlenecks, including those which are not near borders with the European Union.

It is important for these priorities to appear in the text of the Regulation and for the Commission to ensure that they are respected when the Regulation is implemented, and to inform the European Parliament in due course.

III. CONCLUSIONS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on Regional Policy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Recital 7

Whereas an appropriate balance must be struck between financing for transport infrastructure measures and financing for environmental measures;

Whereas an appropriate balance must be struck between financing for transport infrastructure measures and financing for environmental measures, and the minimum /maximum amounts spent for the different modes should apply as laid down in the budget for the TEN budget line B5-70;

(Amendment 2)
Eighth Recital a (new)

whereas the strategy for infrastructure is contained in the Commission's Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on connecting the Union's transport infrastructure network to its neighbours(1), as well as in the final declaration of the third pan-European Transport Conference(2);

(Amendment 3)
Tenth Recital a (new)

whereas the Amsterdam Treaty provides for the European Parliament to have power of codecision regarding transport policy;

(Amendment 4)
Article 1 (1)

1. The Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession, hereinafter referred to as ISPA, is hereby established. ISPA shall provide assistance to contribute to the preparation for accession to the European Union of the following applicant countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, hereinafter referred to as the 'beneficiary countries', in the area of economic and social cohesion, in particular concerning environment and transport policies in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.

1. The Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession, hereinafter referred to as ISPA, is hereby established. ISPA shall provide assistance to contribute to the preparation for accession to the European Union of the following applicant countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, hereinafter referred to as the 'beneficiary countries', in the area of economic and social cohesion, and promoting sustainable development in particular concerning environment and transport policies in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.

(Amendment 5)
Article 2(1)

The Community assistance financed under ISPA shall include projects, stages of a project which are technically and financially independent, groups of projects or project schemes in the field of environment or transport, hereinafter referred to collectively as measures. A stage of a project may also cover preliminary, feasibility and technical studies needed for carrying out a project.

The Community assistance financed under ISPA shall include projects, stages of a project which are technically and financially independent, groups of projects or project schemes in the field of environment or transport, hereinafter referred to collectively as measures. A stage of a project may also cover, up to a maximum of 2% of the total allocation, preliminary, feasibility and technical studies needed for carrying out a project.

(b) transport infrastructure measures which promote sustainable and safe mobility, and in particular:

(Amendment 6)
Article 2(2), b

(b) transport infrastructure measures which promote sustainable mobility, and in particular those that constitute projects of common interest based on the criteria of Decision No 1692/96/EC and those which enable the beneficiary countries to comply with the objectives of the Accession Partnerships; this includes inter-connection and interoperability of national networks as well as with the trans-European networks together with access to such networks.

(i) those that constitute projects of common interest based on the criteria of Decision No 1692/96/EC;

(ii) inter-connection and interoperability of national networks as well as with the trans-European networks together with access to such networks;

(iii) access to the corridors and to each of the areas covered by the pan-European transport policy;

(iv) and those which enable the beneficiary countries to facilitate the implementation of the Community transport acquis.

Support shall be given as a matter of priority to measures relating to intermodal nodes such as sea ports, inland waterway ports and airports, as well as infrastructures in sensitive areas such as mountain passes and urban areas with high traffic density.

(Amendment 7)
Article 2(3)

3. An appropriate balance shall be struck between measures in the field of the environment and measures relating to transport infrastructure.

3. An appropriate balance shall be struck between measures in the field of the environment and measures relating to transport infrastructure. Following the rules laid down for the TEN Transport budget line B5-70, investments in transport infrastructure must show the following structure:

- Rail (including combined transport): at least 55%

- Road: at max. 25%

- Traffic management and telematics: at max. 15%

(Amendment 8)
Annex I, point 7

7. information on the national transport development strategy and the place and priority of the measures within that strategy;

7. information on the national transport development strategy, the place and priority of the measures within that strategy, including the degree of coherence with the guidelines for the trans-European networks and the panEuropean transport policy;

(Amendment 9)
Annex II, point 5

5. the contribution of measures to transEuropean networks and common transport policies;

5. the contribution of measures to transEuropean networks, common transport policy and pan-European transport policy;

(Amendment 10)
Annex IV, point 3a (new)

3a. a breakdown of the measures in the infrastructure sector according to mode of transport, whether or not the location is in a transnational or transfrontier area, links to trans-European network projects or to one or more corridors or areas defined under the pan-European transport policy;

15 October 1998

(1)() COM(97)0172 - C4-0206/97
(2)() Helsinki, 23-25 June 1997


 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on Regional Policy

on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession (COM(98)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091(CNS)) (report by Mr Ralf Walter)

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

Draftsman: Mrs Riitta Myller

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 25 February 1998 the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection appointed Mrs Riitta Myller draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 3 September and 13 October 1998.

At the latter meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Ken Collins, chairman; Poggiolini, Dybkjær and Lannoye, vice-chairmen; Myller, draftsman; d'Aboville, Blokland, Breyer, Cabrol, Eisma, Estevan Bolea (for Campoy Zueco), Fitzsimons, Florenz, González Álvarez, Graenitz, Grossetête, Hardstaff (for Pollack), Hautala (for McKenna), Kirsten Jensen, Kuhn, Lange (for Needle), Leopardi, Marinucci, Olsson, Pinel, Redondo Jimenez (for Valverde Lopez),Roth-Behrendt, Schleicher, Schnellhardt, Tamino, Trakatellis, Virgin.

BACKGROUND/JUSTIFICATION

Amendment 5:

In view of the strong environmental emphasis and implications of the proposal it seems necessary to include a NGO representative in the composition of the committee. The representative should not have the right to vote.

CONCLUSIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Regional Policy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Article 1(1)

1. The Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession, hereinafter referred to as ISPA, is hereby established.

1. The Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession, hereinafter referred to as ISPA, is hereby established.

ISPA shall provide assistance to contribute to the preparation for accession to the European Union of the following applicant countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, hereinafter referred to as the "beneficiary countries", in the area of economic and social cohesion, in particular concerning environment and transport policies in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.

ISPA shall provide assistance to contribute to the preparation for accession to the European Union of the following applicant countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, hereinafter referred to as the "beneficiary countries", in the area of economic and social cohesion and promoting environmentally sustainable development, in particular concerning environment and mobility policies in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.

(Amendment 2)
Article 2(2)(b)

(b) transport infrastructure measures which promote sustainable mobility, and in particular those that constitute projects of common interest based on the criteria of Decision No 1692/96/EC and those which enable the beneficiary countries to comply with the objectives of the Accession Partnerships; this includes inter-connection and interoperability of national networks as well as with the transEuropean networks together with access to such networks.

(b) transport infrastructure measures which promote environmentally sustainable mobility, and in particular those that constitute projects of common interest based on the criteria of Decision No 1692/96/EC and those which enable the beneficiary countries to comply with the objectives of the Accession Partnerships; this includes projects which improve interoperability, intermodality and interregional cohesion as well as reduce and stabilise mobility demand.

(Amendment 3)
Article 7(2)

2. The beneficiary countries shall submit applications for assistance to the Commission. However, the Commission may grant assistance pursuant to Article 2(4) on its own initiative.

2. The beneficiary countries shall submit applications for assistance to the Commission. In the selection of projects and preparation of applications, the beneficiary countries shall associate the competent authorities, including environmental authorities, and citizens' organisations, including those active in the field of environment. The Commission may grant assistance pursuant to Article 2(4) on its own initiative.

(Amendment 4)
Article 9(1)(d)a (new)

(d)a. to check regularly that the measures financed by the Community contribute to the development of the region and do not perpetuate inefficient and environmentally damaging structures.

(Amendment 5)
Article 14, first paragraph

In implementing this Regulation, the Commission shall be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission. The European Investment Bank shall appoint a non-voting representative.

In implementing this Regulation, the Commission shall be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission. The European Investment Bank shall appoint a non-voting representative. A representative of environmental nongovernment-organisations at EU-level shall be appointed in a non-voting capacity.

(Amendment 6)
Annex I, paragraph 11a (new)

11a. the arrangements made to associate the competent authorities, including the environmental authorities, and citizens' organisations in the preparation and selection of projects.

(Amendment 7)
Annex III, B

B. These committees shall be set up by arrangement between the beneficiary country concerned and the Commission. The authorities or bodies designated by the beneficiary country, the Commission and where appropriate, the EIB shall be represented on the committees. Where regional and local authorities and private enterprises are competent for the execution of a project and where they are directly concerned by a project they shall also be represented on such committees.

B. These committees shall be set up by arrangement between the beneficiary country concerned and the Commission. The authorities, including environmental authorities, and bodies or citizens' organisations, including those active in the field of environment, designated by the beneficiary country, the Commission and where appropriate, the EIB shall be represented on the committees. Where regional and local authorities and private enterprises are competent for the execution of a project and where they are directly concerned by a project they shall also be represented on such committees.

7 October 1998

 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on Regional Policy

on the Proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) establishing an Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession

(COM(98)0138 - C4-0301/98 - 98/0091 (CNS)) (Report by Mr Ralf Walter)

Committee on Women's Rights

Draftsperson: Mr Hadar Cars

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 26 June 1998, the Committee on Women's Rights appointed Mr Hadar Cars draftsperson.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 7 September 1998 and 22 September 1998.

At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Hautala, chairperson; Cars, draftsperson; Breyer (for Kerr), Colombo Svevo, Daskalaki, Eriksson, Féret, Gröner, Kokkola, Lulling, T. Mann, Redondo Jiménez (for Banotti), Sornosa Martínez, Van Lancker and Zimmermann (for Waddington).

BACKGROUND

1. Last year, the Committee on Women's Rights, in its opinion on Enlargement noted that the constitutions of all applicant countries recognise full human rights and individual equal rights, at least in letter and also often in practice. Nevertheless, it was also noted that the level of equality enjoyed by men and women in practice was less apparent.

2. The proposed Structural Instrument for Pre-Accession, ISPA, is understandably modelled on the Community's Cohesion Fund with the financial and technical measures aimed specifically at the fields of transport and environment, both of which are extremely capitalintensive sectors. The overall objective, as for the EU Cohesion Funds, remains to lay the basis for improving standards within these areas as a prerequisite for enhanced economic and social cohesion.

3. In laying the foundation for the future structure of the economies of the applicant countries, it is worth recalling that these economies are currently undergoing a radical transition process and in many cases have witnessed a deterioration where policies are less adapted to the conditions of a market economy or where they do not comply with the Union's social aquis and the social model of the Union. Within this context, your draftsman fears that equal treatment policies could be one of the first policy areas to suffer if the utmost care is not taken early on in the preparations for full membership. Equal treatment policies must be fought for most fiercely when economic difficulties hit the professional lives of men and women.

It has been interesting to see, as most applicant countries have undergone the transition to market economies, the growth in horizontal and vertical segregation of labour markets. Traditional signs of inequality have surfaced in patterns already well-known in the Community, such as women being hit faster and more severely by unemployment than men and not enjoying equal access to employment compared to men.

4. This aspect has been flagged up here as a "warning" and a request that the implementation of the ISPA measure be carried out in such a way that women are assured full participation in the economic and social restructuring that is taking place.

5. The need to integrate equality aspects in the sectors covered by ISPA is perhaps most obvious when it comes to the transport sector. It must be requested that women, through their organisations and/or NGOs in the field, participate fully from the outset in decisionmaking on public transport from design through to decisions on operational measures.

6. The areas of accessibility, affordability and availability must come to the fore. Transport policy-makers have, rightly, too often been criticised for designing policies by and for men, and addressing primarily the needs of male users. Women's travel needs and travel patterns are often different from those of men. Given the vast investments to be made and needed in the transport sector, these considerations must be built in from the outset, i.e. also those measures to be decided under ISPA. Finally, it should be pointed out that the Council Decision on the Fourth Action Programme on Equal Opportunities(1) lays down the integrating of the equal opportunities dimension into all policies and activities of the EU and Member States (mainstreaming).

7. Finally, the draftsman would like to point out that women in the applicant countries take up professional occupations which in the Union are traditionally male-dominated, such as design, engineering, construction, etc. It must be insisted, therefore, that measures under ISPA draw to the fullest on this expertise.

8. Based on these remarks, the Committee on Women's Rights would ask the committee responsible to include the following amendments in its report on ISPA:

(Amendment 1)
Recital 13a (new)

Whereas, like all other structural policy measures, ISPA too must reflect the principle of equality of opportunity set out in the Fourth Action Programme and gender mainstreaming in all policy areas and activities of the EU and the Member States. Women must become actively involved in the decision-making process as a whole;

(Amendment 2)
Article 2(3)b (new)

This programme should take the opportunity, on the basis of women's employment structures and qualifications, of promoting diversification of professional choice for women and girls and promoting the employment of women in professions, where they are underrepresented.

(Amendment 3)
Article 2, Eligible measures, Subparagraph 4(c) NEW

(c) preliminary studies related to eligible measures and technical support measures referred to in (a) and (b) must take account of equal opportunity policies, which guarantees a gender balanced participation,

(Amendment 4)
ANNEX I, Content of applications (Article 7(3)(a)), Subparagraph 4

4. A cost-benefit analysis, including the direct and indirect effects on employment.

4. A cost-benefit analysis which, in connection with tendering for example, under the programme for structural policy measures, includes the direct and indirect effects on employment, with special reference to gender, and with gender-disaggregated statistics.

(Amendment 5)
Annex I, paragraph 6

6. information on the place and priority of the measure within the national environmental strategy as laid down in the national programme for the adoption of the acquis communautaire;

6. information on the place and priority of the measure within the national environmental strategy as laid down in the national programme for the adoption of the acquis communautaire, and on the participation of women in all stages of the decision-making process;

(Amendment 6)
ANNEX I, Content of applications (Article 7(3)(a)), Subparagraph 7

7. Information on the national transport development strategy and place and priority of the measures within that strategy;

7. Information on the national transport development strategy and place and priority of the measures within that strategy, with special reference to different gender needs within the transport structure;

(Amendment 7)
ANNEX II, Appraisal of measures (Article 7(3)(b) and (4)), A. Subparagraph 2(a) NEW

2(a) the arrangements for ensuring effective design and management of the measures, which include a gender impact assessment throughout the process;

(1)() OJ L 335, 30.12.1995, p. 037

Last updated: 27 March 1999Legal notice