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C 89 E/114 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 20.3.


Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(2 August 2000)

1. Further to the visit of the President of the Commission to the damaged area, the Commission has
together with the Dutch ministry of Interior Affairs and representatives from the municipality of Enschede,
explored the possibilities of support to some of the actions for reconstruction. Different technical meetings
have taken place with this regard.

This support for the damaged area should in the first place take place in the framework of the new urban
plan that the Dutch authorities have recently (April 2000) submitted to the Commission for objective 2 of
the structural funds. Support from other programmes such as the Community initiatives URBAN, Interreg
and EQUAL, might take place on a ad-hoc basis. However, in financial terms this support would be more
limited due to budgetary constraints and the specific restrictions for the eligibility of expenses.

2. The Commission is willing to accept modifications of the present Dutch objective 2 plan in favour of
the Enschede area and is also giving the highest priority to this particular programme.

(2001/C 89 E/123) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1920/00

by Rolf Linkohr (PSE) to the Commission

(16 June 2000)

Subject: Questions on the EC-Mexico Agreement

1. What appropriations are earmarked for this in the Budget?

2. The EC-Mexico Agreement lists 29 areas of cooperation. How does the Commission intend to put
this into practice?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(26 July 2000)

The Commission thanks the Honourable Member for his inquiry. It is correct that the EC-Mexico
agreement foresees a total of 29 areas of mutual co-operation. The agreement is as comprehensive as
possible due to the fact that it was concluded for an unlimited time frame. In the strategy paper for
Mexico, a stricter setting of priorities has been planned for the coming years. Co-operation with Mexico
will focus on the strengthening of good governance, on economic co-operation, on the struggle against
poverty as well as on the areas of science, technology, culture and education. The extent of funds available
for such co-operation depends on the decisions made by the budgetary authorities in following years.

At present the Community budget contains no specific allocation of funds linked to the agreement. Within
the relevant budget lines, amounts for individual countries are allocated according to criteria such as the
size and relative level of development of each country.

(2001/C 89 E/124) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1931/00

by Christopher Heaton-Harris (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(16 June 2000)

Subject: Budget Item A-3040

Could the Commission indicate the aims and objectives of the European Union Migrants’ Forum and how
it implements the grant of € 800 000 that it receives from Item A-3040?
20.3.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 89 E/115

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(7 September 2000)

The European Union Migrants’ Forum is an international non governmental organization (NGO), funded
by the Commission in compliance with a Parliament resolution. The Forum’s aim is to provide migrants
and ethnic minorities residing legally on the territory of the Union with a voice in the Member States.

The Forum’s work is based on the information that its national support groups collect in each Member
State. These support groups bring together migrants’ associations and federations of associations working
at the national level. The Forum also has ten regional support groups, which bring together migrants’
associations and federations based on their regions of origin. Women and youth are also represented in
two specific support groups.

The Migrants’ Forum currently represents some 65 third country nationalities. It is composed of 190
organisations and national associations, which represent over two thousand grass-roots associations around
the Union. The Forum is committed to supporting the rights and freedoms of migrants and ethnic
minorities, as well as playing an advisory role vis-à-vis the European institutions as regards policy
development in this field.

The main areas of activity can be summarised as protecting fundamental rights for third-country nationals
residing in the Union; access to the territory of the Member States and free movement; citizenship and
political rights; social equality, multiculturality and integration into European societies; fighting against
racism; democracy issues and development aid to third countries.

The Migrants’ Forum action programme for the year 2000 plans specific actions on the right to vote for
third country nationals in local and European elections; lobbying with the Parliament for the adoption of
anti-racism legislation; proposals for programmes promoting cultural and social actions for young
migrants to assist their integration; developing a catalogue of claims and publishing it on the website of
the Forum; and training young people in the framework of its youth committee and managers from
national associations. The Forum has set up a working group on immigration and will seek to mobilise
European networks working in this field.

The Directorate-general for Justice and home affairs took over the management of matters relating to the
Forum from 1 January 2000.

With regard to the Commission’s role in ensuring that the funding is effectively spent, the Migrants’ Forum
has a contractual obligation to report to the Commission on its activities and does so regularly. This
contractual obligation extends to annual submission of accounts which are then assessed by the
Commission. A Commission official is also an observer on the executive committee of the Forum and
the board of management.

The Commission will undertake a full audit of the activities and accounts of the Forum in the near future.

(2001/C 89 E/125) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1932/00

by Christopher Heaton-Harris (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(16 June 2000)

Subject: Budget Item A-3038

€ 300 000 is allocated under Item A-3038 to ‘other general grants’. Could the Commission indicate what
these general grants are and how these funds are used?