51997PC0637

Proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) amending Regulation (EC) No 70/97 concerning the arrangements applicable to imports into the Community of products originating in the Republics of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to imports of wine originating in the Republic of Slovenia /* COM/97/0637 final - ACC 97/0331 */


Proposal for a Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) on assistance to the applicant countries in Central and Eastern Europe in the framework of the pre-accession strategy (98/C 48/09) COM(97) 634 final - 97/0351(CNS)

(Submitted by the Commission on 19 December 1997)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 235 thereof,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, and in particular Article 203 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament,

Whereas the economic and political conditions to be fulfilled by the associated Central and East European countries wishing to join the European Union were set out at the European Council meeting in Copenhagen in June 1993; whereas the main difficulties which those countries are encountering in metting those conditions have been identified in the course of implementing the procedure provided for in Article O of the Treaty on European Union;

Whereas the Heads of State or Government meeting in Amsterdam from 16 to 17 June 1997 reiterated their intention of reinforcing the Union's pre-accession strategy to facilitate the applicants' preparations for accession; whereas for that purpose the Commission presented a package of proposals in this connection Agenda 2000;

Whereas Community assistance in support of the pre-accession strategy should properly be provided within the framework of a partnership with each applicant and such assistance should focus on the abovementioned difficulties;

Whereas it is essential to manage the available financial resources carefully and in line with the priorities arising out of the Commission's opinions on the applications for accession; whereas the Council must be free to decide what principles, priorities and general conditions are to govern the accession partnerships so that the Commission can take those decisions into account when establishing the partnerships;

Whereas Community assistance under the pre-accession strategy should be provided by applying to the countries concerned the aid programmes adopted in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties, and particularly Council Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89 of 18 December 1989 on economic aid to certain Central and East European countries (1), as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 753/96 (2); whereas therefore, this Regulation will have no financial implications;

Whereas the programming of the financial resources making up Community assistance will be decided in accordance with the procedures set out in the regulations relating to the corresponding financial instruments or programmes;

Whereas the granting of pre-accession assistance is also subject to the application of democratic principles and the rule of law, respect for human rights, and the protection of minorities;

Whereas observance of the obligations laid down in the Europe Agreements is also a pre-condition of Community assistance;

Whereas implementing such accession partnerships is likely to help achieve the Community's objectives; whereas, for this kind of system, the only powers provided for are those in Article 235 of the EC Treaty and Article 203 of the Euratom Treaty.

HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

The aid described in Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89, and any other Community assistance granted in line with the pre-accession strategy for countries applying to accede to the European Union, shall be provided as part of an accession partnership within a single framework, covering:

- the priorities, as defined in the analysis of the situation in each country, on which preparations for accession must concentrate in the light of the political and economic obligations incumbent on a Member State,

- the financial resources for helping each applicant to implement the priorities identified during the pre-accession period.

Article 2

Acting on a proposal by the Commission, the Council shall decide by qualified majority, before 15 March 1998, what principles, priorities and general conditions, as disclosed by the Commission's opinions on applications for accession, are to govern each accession partnership.

Article 3

Under the pre-accession strategy the Community shall provide the kind of assistance that is provided for in the programmes adopted in accordance with the Treaty, and in particular Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89.

On the basis of decisions taken by the Council pursuant to Article 2 of this Regulation, the programming of the financial resources of the assistance granted in the framework of the accession partnerships shall be established in accordance with the procedures set out in the regulations relating to the relevant financial instruments or programmes.

Article 4

Any adjustments to the accession partnerships shall be made in accordance with the procedures set out in Articles 2 and/or 3.

Article 5

Where a component essential to the continuance of pre-accession assistance is missing, where the principles of democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights or the protection of minorities are violated, the Council, acting by qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission, may take appropriate steps with regard to any pre-accession assistance granted to an applicant country.

Article 6

This Regulation shall enter into force on the third day following its publication in the Official Journal of European Communities.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

(1) OJ L 375, 23.12.1989, p. 11.

(2) OJ L 103, 26.4.1996, p. 5.