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2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 309 E/5

The Commission can provide the following replies to the questions relating to traditional own resources:
1. The Commission examines each case in which duties in excess of EUR 10 000 are written off from the
angle of the diligence shown by the Member State concerned. It then informs that Member State of its
position. Whenever the Commission, by reasoned decision, refuses to allow the amount to be written
off, it holds the Member State liable for the amount not recovered.
2. In 2000 and 2001, the Commission dealt with 339 cases of writing-off reported by six Member States
(3 by the Netherlands, 10 by the United Kingdom, 3 by France, 3 by Sweden, 3 by Portugal and
317 by Germany); these 339 cases represent a total of EUR 44 116 013,71 in traditional own
resources. In 129 of these 339 cases (i.e. 38 % of the total number), the Commission refused to allow
the amounts to be written off. The amounts involved were EUR 8 178 716,89 (i.e. 18,5 % of the total).
For any delay in paying over these amounts, penalty interest is imposed.
3. Between 1992 and 2000, 405 cases of writing-off were submitted to the Commission by ten
Member States, but in very different proportions. Germany submitted 82,20 % of the cases, the United
Kingdom 7,65 % and the Netherlands 4,7 %.
4. The comparison between amounts written off which the Commission refuses and the total amount of
fraud and irregularities is of very little significance. The figure for fraud and irregularities relates to the
last two years, whereas the cases of writing-off examined by the Commission go back mostly to earlier

The Commission would make the following points on the questions relating to indirect expenditure: the
question about indirect expenditure lost because of the negligence of the Member State must be linked to
the subject of the question, namely the fight against fraud. Corrections under the clearance of accounts
procedure have, for the past seven years, not involved any amounts relating to the recovery of amounts in
cases of fraud. The ‘comprehensive monitoring strategy’ to which the Honourable Member refers does not
concern the clearance of accounts by Directorate General Agriculture. To sum up, the question does not
concern the clearance of accounts.

(1) Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1150/2000 of 22 May 2000, OJ L 130, 31.5.2000.

(2002/C 309 E/006) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3600/01

by Markus Ferber (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(8 January 2002)

Subject: EU funding for the dredging of the Ráckeve-Soroksár arm of the Danube in Hungary

The Ráckeve-Soroksár arm of the Danube in Hungary is to be dredged. A layer of mud is to be removed in
preparation for gravel extraction.

Has EU funding, e.g. under the PHARE or ISPA programmes, been applied for and authorised, and if so,
how much?

Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission

(12 February 2002)

The Commission can confirm that no Community funding, neither under the PHARE programme nor
under the Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession (ISPA), was granted for the dredging of the
Ráckeve-Soroksár arm of the Danube. The Commission has not recently received any request for funding
from the Hungarian authorities for this purpose.

In view of the importance of this section of the Danube, PHARE has financed, under the 1994 PHARE
National Plan, a study on the Water Management Development Project of the Ráckeve-Soroksár Danube
Branch. The scope of this project, which was completed in 1998, was to define the main problems related
to the water quality and pollution and to contribute to a comprehensive water management and
development strategy for the Ráckeve- Soroksár Danube Branch.