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C 45/104 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 10. 2.


Answer given by Mr Pinheiro on behalf of the Commission

(20 June 1997)

The Commission considers that, since its establishment in 1994, the Commission delegation in South Africa has
been performing well under very heavy pressure, with limited staff resources. This has been recognized by many
official visitors to South Africa. The delegation is responsible, inter alia, for managing the largest co-operation
programme in Africa (125 MECU of new commitments each year), and the carry over of some 700 projects
initiated before May 1994, under the special programme for the victims of apartheid. It also has important
responsibilities in the area of political dialogue and economic co-operation, including support for the
negotiations between South Africa and the Union.

As a result, the delegation has had to respond to many individual requests and to accommodate a continuous flow
of visits which are stretching its resources.

Notwithstanding the budgetary and staffing constraints with which the Unified External Services of the
Commission are faced and the demands for redeployment and recomposition of its overseas delegations, the
Commission has nevertheless taken steps to reinforce the delegation in Pretoria. It now numbers eight
Commission officials, supported by a qualified and dedicated local staff. Following this reinforcement of the
delegation, a process of internal reorganisation was launched, under the authority of the head of delegation,
aimed at rationalising the allocation of tasks between the delegation staff and facilitating the daily work of the

(98/C 45/129) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1792/97

by Florus Wijsenbeek (ELDR) to the Commission
(27 May 1997)

Subject: Maritime research and distribution of shoes

1. Is the Commission aware that in a recent study Mr Leopold of the Netherlands Institute for Forestry and
Nature Research measured the number of shoes washed up from the sea?

2. Is the Commission also aware that that study showed that in a single winter 68 left shoes and 39 right shoes
were washed up on the Dutch island of Texel, 63 left and 93 right shoes were washed up on the Shetland Islands?

3. Does the Commission consider this a fair distribution?

4. Is the Commission prepared in its annual allocation of fish quotas to provide a fair allocation of shoes as
between left and right and by Member State?

5. Is the Commission also prepared to organized an exchange to make up the pairs, perhaps via the Interreg

If so, how? If not, why not?

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(19 June 1997)

1. No.

2. No.

3. No.

4. No.

5. No, the Honourable Member's question does not fall within the Commission's sphere of activity.