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2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 277 E/15

Nevertheless, part of the population does benefit from more diverse information: the collapse of the state
favoured the multiplication of information sources, both written and audio-visual, and foreign programmes
in Somali are already being broadcast on a daily basis.

(2002/C 277 E/013) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3695/01

by Nelly Maes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(16 January 2002)

Subject: EU delegations

The presence of an EU delegation in a country reflects the importance that the EU attaches to that area.

Can the Commission give a breakdown of:

) countries where the EU delegation is being done away with,

) countries where a new EU delegation is being established,

) countries where there will continue to be an EU delegation?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(11 March 2002)

The Commission has no plans to close any of its Delegations. The Communication to the Council and the
Parliament of 3 July 2001 on the Development of the External Service (1) foresees the streamlining of three
Delegations, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago. As a result of this decision, the Commission
proposes to accredit to each of the three governments a Head of Delegation in a neighbouring country as
non-resident Head of Delegation. The Delegations will remain in place manned by a single official as
‘chargé d’affaires’ with his own local staff. This will enable it to follow as today the traditional issues of
development co-operation but also political and economic matters, including trade.

In the framework of the same Communication the Commission decided to close seven of its existing
Offices, Antigua and Barbuda, São Tomé e Príncipe, Equatorial Guinea, Belize, Comores, Netherlands
Antilles and Tonga.

Closing these Offices however does not mean that the Commission has changed its commitment in its
relations with the countries affected. Responsibility for its activities will remain with regional Delegations
whose Heads of Delegation will continue to be accredited to those countries. The Commission is convinced
that this restructuring of External Service will allow it to maintain the close co-operation that it already
enjoys with them. Indeed, the Commission’s aim is to strengthen relations, improve the management of aid
and make the best use of scarce resources by pooling expertise in one Delegation to be made available to a
whole region.

The Communication of 3 July 2001 on the Development of the External Service foresees the opening of
seven new Delegations: Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal Saudi Arabia, Paraguay and Singapore.

Moreover, consideration will be given to opening a trade representation office in Taiwan.

A regular presence in Cuba will also be considered in the light of internal developments and the
forthcoming closure of the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO).

A list of External Representations (changes indicated above are due to be implemented by the end of 2002)
is sent direct to the Honourable Member and to the Parliament’s Secretariat.

(1) COM(2001) 381 final.