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Parliament debates proposed aid rules for Trans-European Networks

The Council's common position on a draft Regulation laying down general rules for the granting of Community aid in the area of Trans-European Networks (TENs) was discussed at a mini-session of the European Parliament held, in Brussels, on 27-28 June 1995. Reporting on the Cou...

The Council's common position on a draft Regulation laying down general rules for the granting of Community aid in the area of Trans-European Networks (TENs) was discussed at a mini-session of the European Parliament held, in Brussels, on 27-28 June 1995. Reporting on the Council's common position, Mr. Joaquim Sisó Cruellas, MEP, pointed out the contradiction between the desire for a genuine European infrastructure and the limited amount of money available. In particular, he noted that the proposed EU contribution of ECU 2,345 million up to 1999, only accounted for 0.6% of the total expenditure required as set out in the Commission's 1993 White Paper on employment. He also opposed the Council's attempt to fix the budget for five years at this stage, on the basis that this was a matter which should be decided on jointly with the Parliament. In addition, it was considered that the proposed 10% limit for European Union funding for any project should not apply to small-scale schemes. Replying to the debate, Commissioner Papoutsis (Energy, SMEs and Tourism) said that the Commission was unable to accept most of the proposed amendments, since it supported the Council's common position. However, he accepted that small-scale projects should not be subject to the 10% limit on funding and that the financial reference of ECU 2,345 million should not be included in the Regulation. The European Parliament has requested a one-month extension on the financial proposal since the requisite quorum for a vote was not met on this occasion. The report will, therefore, be voted on, in Strasbourg, in July 1995.