Commission Question – Somaliland police training course

Question for written answer E-008837/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Somaliland police training course

On 9-17 May 2015 senior police officers from Somaliland participated in a training course organized by EUCAP Nestor in collaboration with the Irish Ministry of the Interior.

What was the cost of this exercise and what mutual benefits can be identified for embarking upon such an exercise?

Can the Commission please provide details of this exercise?

EN

E-008837/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(11.9.2015)

 The training course for the Somaliland police which took place in Ireland from 9 to 17 May 2015 was organised by EUCAP Nestor in co-operation with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and the “Garda Siochana” (Irish Police).

The course is part of the senior management training programme aimed at developing the knowledge and skills of the Somaliland police forces involved in the fight against maritime crime, in particular piracy, which is an essential part of EUCAP Nestor’s mandate. This exercise is also part of the wider support provided by EU Member States in the framework of European Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

The training included modules on the management of rural and coastal policing, community policing and community relations, a visit and operational engagement at the Irish Police Search and Rescue (SAR) HQ, lectures on Human Rights and a visit to the “Garda Siochana’s” Firearms Training Simulator (FATS).

The course focused in particular on human rights, equality for all citizens before the law and accountability, transparency and integrity on the part of police services. The training enabled the Somaliland Police to better understand the need for coordination and cooperation in fighting maritime and organized crime and the need to strengthen legal and law enforcement frameworks.

The costs of the training were covered by the Irish Government. EUCAP Nestor contributed with the payment of police officers’ per diem (EUR 3,306).

Commission Question – EU-Zimbabwe relations

Question for written answer E-010831/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: EU-Zimbabwe relations

Recently the EU has pledged aid to Zimbabwe to the sum of USD 270 million to support agriculture and health improvements, alongside the lifting of the sanctions and travel bans that had been imposed on many senior government officials, excepting Robert Mugabe and his wife.

In light of the calls from Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, for the ‘unconditional lifting of sanctions against our Head of State and First Lady’, are there any ongoing negotiations on the possibility of such a ban being lifted so as to allow Robert Mugabe and his wife to travel to Europe and unfreeze his assets on Europe’s mainland?

 

 

EN

E-010831/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(11.9.2015)

Responding to the Global Political Agreement and the Government of National Unity, the EU has taken steps, since 2009, towards gradually normalising relations with Zimbabwe.

On 1 November 2014, the Council decided to let the appropriate measures taken under Article 96 of the EU ACP Partnership Agreement expire, enabling the resumption of multi-year cooperation with Zimbabwe under the 11 EDF, worth € 234 million for the period up to 2020.

Restrictive measures against 84 individuals and 8 entities have been suspended but not lifted, and still apply to President Mugabe and his wife Grace, and to Zimbabwe Defence Industries. On 20 February 2015, the Council decided to roll-over the remaining restrictive measures against Zimbabwe under the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), emphasising the need for continued political reform, while it continues monitoring closely the situation of human rights.  The Council will keep these measures under constant review in view of the latest developments in Zimbabwe.

Commission Question – Endangered species and Chinese medicine

Question for written answer E-007568/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Endangered species and Chinese medicine

Many endangered species are poached for use in traditional Chinese medicine. Does the Commission intend to raise the issue of traditional medicine and its negative impact on wildlife conservation in any dialogue with the Chinese authorities?

EN

E-007568/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(10.9.2015)

The EU and China are both part of the Convention on International Trade in Endengered Species (CITES), aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the international  trade in specimens of wild animals and plants. In the context of CITES,  a number of recommendations has been agreed,  with the goal of curbing the illegal trade in plants and animals used, inter alia, in traditional Chinese medicine, such as tigers or bears, to name two species. The EU and China are working together to further improve the effectiveness of CITES in this regard. In addition, the Commission has a specific dialogue on wildlife trade issues with  the State Forestry Administration-the body responsible for CITES in China-  which is based on a cooperation arrangement signed in 2013.

Furthermore, in 2014, the Commission has adopted a Communication on the EU approach to wildlife trafficking, and it is currently working on an EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking,which includes measures aimed both  at tackling the problem within the EU and at enhancing  action at the global level.

The EU has raised the issue of wildlife conservation  in  its regular dialogue on environment, and  in its dialogue with China on Africa; while also making use of other diplomatic channels, like  the UN framework, in order to engage China- a key player- in the global effort to stop wildlife trafficking and increase the protection of wild species.

Commission Question – EU delegation in Tehran

Question for written answer E-008846/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: EU delegation in Tehran

An EU delegation will be based in Tehran. What exactly are the qualifying criteria for it being there and what is the cost involved for having such a delegation based in Iran?

Can the Commission provide full details of this delegation?

EN

E-008846/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(10.9.2015)

The EU is currently exploring options for opening an EU Delegation in Tehran. The eventual decision to open a delegation, while taken by the High Representative, will need to follow the standard procedures as set out in Article 5 of Council Decision 2010/427/EU of 26 July 2010; as such it will require the approval of the Council and of the European Commission. Given the early stage of the decision-making process and the range of possible options, considerations such as exact costs, staffing and other associated issues are as yet unclear.

Commission Question – Hydroelectric projects in Africa

Question for written answer E-010264/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Hydroelectric projects in Africa

Has the EU provided any financial or technical assistance to African states in the fields of hydroelectric power infrastructure?

Could the Commission please provide details of any costs

EN

E-010264/2015

Answer given by Mr Mimica

on behalf of the Commission

(9.9.2015) 

The EU supports the construction of hydroelectric plants in Africa and their connection to national and international electricity grids. This has been mainly funded through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund.1 Support has been provided for all stages of project development (identification, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, assistance in implementation and co-funding of investment costs through interest rate subsidies).

Since 2007, EUR 52 million has been committed for hydroelectric projects through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. The total average construction cost of hydroelectric plants co-funded by the EU amounts to EUR 2 860 per kW installed.

1  See ‘Agreement constituting the implementation rules of the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund’, signed on 20th July 2006 between the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Commission is the Founding Donor (initial funding from the intra-ACP envelope under 9th EDF and later adding resources from 10th EDF) but 12 other Member States have also contributed funding since 2007. Implementation is through joint management with the EIB.

Commission Question – Maritime regional capacity in the Horn of Africa

Question for written answer E-008850/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD) and Julia Reid (EFDD)

Subject: Maritime regional capacity in the Horn of Africa

The Draft Budget for 2016 mentions a project concerning Maritime Regional Capacity in the Horn of Africa (EUCAP Nestor). What key elements are involved in this project?

1. Will it involve security and defence support by EU Member States?

2. What evaluation has been made to safeguard the coastal population’s economic interests and livelihoods?

3. Please provide a full cost analysis of this particular project, and supply information relating to the key economic benefits relating to the Horn of Africa.

EN

E-008850/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(8.9.2015) 

EUCAP Nestor is a civilian CSDP mission, launched in July 2012 with the current mandate expiring on 12 December 2016. The mission aims at strengthening the maritime security capacity of states in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean to reinforce their ability to fight piracy through advising, mentoring and training.

EUCAP Nestor is part of the EU comprehensive approach to the Horn of Africa in general and to the fight against piracy in particular. The mission complements the other CSDP missions in the region, EUTM Somalia and EUNAVFOR Atalanta.

The primary focus of the mission is on Somalia, but it also supports capacity building in Djibouti, the Seychelles and Tanzania, even though an interim strategic review, carried out during spring 2015, proposed the mission to only focus on Somalia. Therefore, EUCAP Nestor will soon phase out activities in Tanzania, Djibouti and Seychelles.

EUCAP Nestor contributes to the economic development of the coastal populations in the Horn of Africa by strengthening their capacity for maritime governance so that they can take control of their territorial waters and exclusive economic zone as well as take ownership of the fight against piracy.

The current annual budget of the Mission is EUR 17.9 M.

Commission Question – Migration NGOs in Latin America

Question for written answer E-009117/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Migration NGOs in Latin America

Could the Commission please provide details of what assistance and support it provides to NGOs and other civil society organisations in Latin America which are active in the field of migration?

EN

E-009117/2015

Answer given by Mr Mimica

on behalf of the Commission

(4.9.2015) 

Migration and development has been a long-standing priority area of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, which provides an overarching framework for EU external migration policy. The new European Agenda for Migration also includes “addressing the root causes through development cooperation and humanitarian assistance” as one of its key actions.

In Latin America, the Commission has supported NGOs and Civil Society Organisations working with migration-related issues via both geographic (Development Cooperation Instrument1) and thematic instruments.

As far as thematic instruments are concerned, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights2 has given support through both global Calls for Proposals and local Calls for Proposals that are managed by EU Delegations.

The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace3 has supported a project for the prevention and care of victims of human trafficking in Central America with a special focus on women and minors of age.

Finally, to complement such support to Civil Society, and in the framework of the Structured and Comprehensive EU-CELAC Dialogue on Migration, the EU has funded the project “Strengthening the dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean” which was implemented from 2011 to July 2015.

1  Regulation (EU) No 233/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation for the period 2014-2020 (OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 44-76)

2  Regulation (EU) No 235/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing a financing instrument for democracy and human rights worldwide (OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 85–94)

3  Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing an instrument contributing to stability and peace (OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 1–10 )

Commission Question – Germany’s failure to comply with EU airport security law

Question to the Commission for written answer E-010271/2015

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Germany’s failure to comply with EU airport security law

It is understood that a case will be referred to the Court of Justice for a decision as to whether Germany failed to fully comply with EU airport security regulations.

Does the Commission know of any other Member States which have also failed to comply and, if so, what action will be taken in respect of this?

EN

E-010271/2015

Answer given on behalf of the Commission by Ms Bulc (7.9.2015) 

The Commission continuously monitors the application of the Union’s aviation security legislation and is regularly conducting aviation security inspections in all Member States in order to verify the effectiveness of their national quality control programmes regarding civil aviation security.

It is in the context of such an inspection that the Commission established that Germany did not respect the legal requirements and decided that the case should be referred to the Court of Justice.

Should Commission inspections reveal in future that other Member States fail to fulfill the legal requirements, appropriate steps, up to the referral to the EU Court of Justice, if necessary, shall be taken.

Commission Question – North-East England – Management of Horizon 2020

Question to the Commission for written answer E-010274/2015

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: North-East England – Management of Horizon 2020

Could the Commission please provide details of what agency in the North-East of England and Brussels oversees project funding under the Horizon 2020 thematic programme heading?

EN

E-010274/15

Answer given on behalf of the Commission by Mr Moedas (25.8.2015)

Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, funds research projects on the basis of competitive internationally peer-reviewed calls for proposals directly managed by the Commission. There is no agency in the North-East of England that oversees project funding under Horizon 2020.

Potential applicants from the North-East of England can obtain information on funding opportunities in Horizon 2020 through the Participant Portal1 or the National Contact Points (NCPs), whose contact details are available by country2.

The network of NCPs is the main structure to provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon 2020. NCPs are national structures established and financed by governments of the 28 EU Member States and the states associated to the Framework Programme.

1  http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/home.html

2 http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/support/national_contact_points.html

Commission Question – Horizon 2020 – Projects in North-East England

Question to the Commission for written answer E-010312/2015

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Horizon 2020 – Projects in North-East England

Could the Commission please provide details of how much money has been set aside for projects in the North-East of England under the Horizon 2020 thematic programme?

EN

E-010312/15

Answer given on behalf of the Commission by Mr Moedas

(25.8.2015)

Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020), is an excellence-based programme implemented primarily through transnational collaborative projects granted on the basis of competitive calls for proposals, as provided for in the Horizon 2020 work programmes and work plans1. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of the criteria ‘excellence’, ‘impact’ and ‘quality and efficiency of the implementation’. There is, thus, no part of the Horizon 2020 budget that is a priori set aside for any specific part of the European Union or the countries associated to Horizon 2020 or any part of these States.

Horizon 2020 funding has been granted to legal entities in the North-East of England on a competitive basis. According to the available information, the amount granted so far exceeds EUR 28 million.

1  For more information, see the Participant Portal

http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/home.html)