Select Committee on European Communities Thirty-Third Report


The Environment of Russia and the New Independent States



  1.    This Report is about environmental aspects of the "Tacis"[1] programme of European Union[2] technical assistance for economic reform and recovery in the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union and Mongolia, with particular reference to the Russian Federation and Ukraine. It is in effect a sequel to our Report of July 1995[3] (following an enquiry by Sub-Committee C) on the corresponding "Phare"[4] programme of assistance to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs). The main theme of that Report was the role of Phare in helping CEECs who aspired to EU membership to equip themselves for meeting the environmental obligations of the acquis communautaire. Whilst membership of the European Union must, in current conditions, remain a dream for most of the former Soviet republics—referred to in this Report as the "New Independent States" (NIS)[5]—the state of the environment to the east of the EU's boundaries is of immense significance not only to Europe but also globally, because of its implications for biodiversity, climate change and transboundary pollution. The EU therefore has a powerful interest in seeing the NIS moving progressively towards adoption of Community­level and wider international standards of environmental protection.

  2.    As with Phare, the Tacis enquiry revealed a situation of considerable complexity, with a wide range of actors, not all of whom seemed to have a very clear picture of where their activities fitted into the scheme of things. Introducing some degree of clarity and insight in this Report has not been easy. The enquiry proved to be a major information-gathering exercise, and although the intention was to focus on environmental aspects of Tacis, inevitably much of the evidence was of general application to the programme as a whole. In so far as the environment of the NIS will benefit from improvements in Tacis procedures generally, we have not excluded from the scope of this Report any evidence simply on the grounds that it is not specific to the environment. The structure of the Report reflects the fact that much of the evidence came as information as opposed to opinion. We have therefore sought to make a distinction between the factual information provided by witnesses and others (which is for Part 1 of the Report) and their expressions of opinion (for Part 2).[6]

  3.    The Report has, unfortunately, had to be completed against the background of the growing economic and financial crisis in the Russian Federation, with its ripple effects in other countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, which began to emerge after the evidence for this enquiry had been taken. It also coincides with mounting concern about alleged misappropriation of Western aid moneys, as voiced by, among others, the European Parliament and even the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Mr Yevgeny Primakov. On top of these comes the threat of serious food shortages in Russia over the coming winter which could further destabilise an already fragile situation. We have no doubt that whatever actions are taken by the European Union to meet humanitarian needs and to help the NIS surmount their immediate economic problems, a continuation of EU technical assistance, through partnership, will be essential for keeping up the momentum of the process of transition from Soviet authoritarianism and the command economy to a liberal economy and civil society. Indeed, we would go as far as saying that the value of Tacis, as a means of building trust and mutual respect and a vehicle for sharing know-how, may well outweigh many of the shortcomings of policy and administration to which we draw attention in this Report.[7]

  4.    The enquiry was carried out by Sub-Committee C (Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection), whose members are listed in Appendix 1. The Specialist Adviser was Mr Andrew Convey, European Research Fellow, School of Geography, University of Leeds. Oral and written evidence, and other information, were received from the organisations and individuals listed in Appendix 2. The Sub­Committee's invitation for evidence is reproduced in Appendix 3. A glossary of abbreviations and acronyms is on the front flyleaf.

  5.    The Committee would like to express its warm thanks to Mr Convey for his expert assistance, much of it based on first-hand experience of Phare and Tacis programmes; to the various witnesses for their helpful and thoughtful evidence; to the Graphics Unit of the School of Geography, Leeds University, for the map and diagrams; to the British Embassies in Kiev and Moscow, the British Consulate General in St Petersburg, the European Commission and the Office of the United Kingdom's Permanent Representative to the European Union for organising highly informative visits for members of the Sub-Committee to Ukraine, Russia and Brussels; and to the Sub-Committee's numerous hosts in Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg for their many kindnesses and valuable insights into the workings of the Tacis programme on the ground.


The emergence of the New Independent States

  6.    The political events of the late 1980s and immediately afterwards brought about enormous changes to the map of Europe. The state boundaries of "western" Europe did not change, and those of "central" Europe, with the exception of the former Czechoslovakia, hardened into boundaries of countries freed from the constraints of the former "soviet bloc". Within the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia, however, it was former provincial boundaries, with some adjustments, which developed into boundaries of states which were new upon the recent European scene. In the vocabulary of EU and other western countries' development aid policies, it has become customary to refer to the CEECs and the successor states of the USSR as "countries in transition" (or "transition countries")—to reflect not only political sensitivities but also the fact that they are not "developing" countries in the third world sense but rather that they are countries which are on most criteria already "developed" but are now undergoing massive economic, social and institutional upheaval as they move away from command economies.

  7.    Within the area covered by this report, the former Soviet Union changed from one centralised state into a much larger number of autonomous states, based upon the former internal states of the Soviet Union. These new states remained within a loose confederation of 12 known as the "Commonwealth of Independent States" (the CIS), comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, but excluding the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania); more recently the CIS members have become known to the European Commission as the New Independent States (NIS), to which group has been added Mongolia. As a result of all these developments, in the field of the environment as in many others, the EU deals with each of the new states as independent units, but in the case of the Tacis programme, manages the programme as a whole for the complete area of the NIS and Mongolia, but with differing emphases for each independent unit, based upon the priorities established in partnership with those units.

The New Independent States' environment

  8.    The NIS face immense environmental problems. While partly derived from geography, these are largely the legacy of the Soviet period. The sheer size of the NIS land mass, coupled with wide variations in climate and levels of industrialisation, contributes to the diversity of environmental problems. The Western NIS countries have large urban populations, heavy industry, high levels of ambient air pollution, water pollution and large volumes of municipal and industrial waste. The Central Asian Republics are less densely populated, with economies driven by the extraction and exploitation of natural resources and large-scale irrigation for agricultural purposes.

  9.    Evidence to the enquiry by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) has emphasised that whilst economic decline has brought about a reduction in air and water pollution, there is an urgent need for measures to ensure that economic recovery occurs in an environmentally sustainable manner. Priorities are the reduction of health risks (especially the provision of safe drinking water and tackling the worst problems of industrial pollution and hazardous waste) and institutional improvements in order to integrate environmental considerations into policy in other sectors. It is also important to improve monitoring procedures, streamline regulations, strengthen enforcement mechanisms and improve environmental awareness among the general public (pp 26, 41).

Milestones in the evolution of European environmental policy

  10.    The European Community (EC) had been developing environmental legislation and actions for over 20 years before the political changes occurred which brought the New Independent States into being. Early directives developed by the Community tended to focus upon the more detailed aspects of improving the living and working conditions of its citizens. As the over-riding importance of environmental factors came to be more accepted, the 1987 Single European Act provided the growing body of environmental legislation with a formal legal basis, setting out at that stage three major objectives:

     protection of the environment,

     human health,

     prudent and rational use of natural resources.

  11.    These trends were taken further in the Treaty of Maastricht (1992), which first introduced the concept of sustainable development in Community law. At the same time, the Community endorsed Agenda 21, the global agenda for sustainable development which was formalised at the Conference on Environment and Development at Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) went further in explicitly requiring sustainable development to be integrated in the definition of Community policies and activities. This considerably strengthened earlier commitments to the principle that future development in the Community must be based upon sustainable development and a high level of protection of the environment.

  12.    The European Community had also, in 1993, adopted its Fifth Programme of Policy and Action in Relation to the Environment and Sustainable Development, "Towards Sustainability"[8] (better known as the Fifth Environmental Action Programme), to cover the period 1993-2000, the main period over which involvement with the NIS and central and eastern Europe became extensive, and which was developed in parallel with Agenda 21. This programme charted a new path which integrated policies, laws and projects into a comprehensive programme of reform, the main features being:

     Integration of environmental considerations into other policy areas

     Partnership between the EC, Member States, the business world, the public and shared responsibility

     Broadening the range of environmental policy instruments to include, for example, taxes and subsidies, and voluntary agreements

     Changing patterns of consumption and behaviour

     Implementation and enforcement of legislation

     International co­operation within the framework of Agenda 21 and the 5th Environmental Action Programme of the EC.

The European environmental agenda and the former Eastern Bloc

  13.    The NIS, and indeed the whole of the former so-called "eastern bloc", did not begin to figure in these developments until a late stage, mostly after the political changes of 1989. Before that, certain countries in central and eastern Europe, such as Hungary, had begun to design effective environmental standards and legislation, but as has become much more clear since the early 1990s, the long-term build-up of major environmental problems within the area of the NIS had become prodigious, as illustrated above all by the Chernobyl disaster and its aftermath but also by environmental "horrors" such as the former Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground in Kazakhstan, pollution and over-extraction of water from the rivers feeding the Aral Sea, and the uncontrolled dumping or abandonment of obsolete nuclear matériel in the Arctic region of Northern European Russia.

  14.    The European Union had always used the slogan that "the environment knows no frontiers" to help justify its Europe-wide approaches to the development of its own environmental legislation. It now became clear that the Union would have an important role to play in attempting to equalise the major differences in environmental legislation and approaches to action which existed on either side of the old "iron curtain". On the one hand, this implied that those central European countries which were candidates to join the EU would be in need of special help from the EU in order to bring their own environmental legislation up to that which already existed in the EU. On the other hand, it also implied that the major environmental problems which continued further east and southeast could not be ignored by the EU, as those problems would continue to affect the environments not only of the enlarged EU area, but also of the whole world.

  15.    In consequence, in July 1997, the European Commission issued Agenda 2000, which discusses the adjustments to its policies which will be needed to ensure sustainable employment and economic growth in the context of preparing for the accession of other countries to the Union. It reaffirmed the protection of the environment and a high quality of life as major objectives of internal Union policies. Its strategy towards central and eastern Europe will include:

     further emphasis upon the environment in accession strategies and elsewhere

     continued co­operation within the framework of existing agreements and processes.

  16.    The period since 1989 also saw the launch of the Phare programme for the CEECs (some of which are now applying for accession to the EU)[9], and of the Tacis programme for the area of the NIS and Mongolia. The countries concerned in both of these programmes have all to varying degrees been developing policies of environmental protection.

  17.    During 1997 the European Commission launched, through the Tacis programme, an initiative to place environmental policy advisers in all the Ministries of the Environment in the Tacis area, together with an environmental awareness-raising programme.[10]

Responsibilities within the European Commission

  18.    Lead responsibility within the Commission for environmental policy and relations with the NIS and CEECs rests respectively with Directorate-General XI (Environment, Nuclear Safety and Civil Protection) (DG XI) and Directorate-General 1A (External Relations: Europe and New Independent States, Common Foreign and Security Policy, and External Service) (DG 1A). A mission statement issued by DG XI gives its aims as:

     A high level of environmental protection

     Improvement of the quality of life

     Increased environmental efficiency

     Preservation of the rights of future generations to a viable environment

     Ensuring equitable use of our common environmental resources.[11]

  19.    DG XI has the major task of developing the Fifth Environmental Action Programme, "Towards Sustainability", which forms the basis of the European environmental agenda up to the millennium. At the same time, DG XI is much concerned with the environmental implications of the enlargement process of the European Union, not least in the nuclear safety field. DG XI's direct involvement with the Tacis programme, however, is limited.

  20.    For the purposes of this Report, the relevant overall tasks of DG 1A are the handling of relations with European countries which are not members of the EU and with the NIS and Mongolia, and the managing of the delegations and external offices of the Commission throughout the world. These tasks include the day-to-day management of Tacis, the principal elements of which are:

     proposing the overall strategic direction of the Tacis Programme

     formulating the budget proposals to be approved by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament

     allocating funding, based upon an opinion delivered by the Tacis Management Committee (paragraph 76) and in accordance with the partner countries

     managing the implementation of the Tacis programme

     information to the public about Tacis programmes and activities.

A detailed description of DG 1A's organisation in relation to Tacis and the Council of Ministers is in paragraphs 75-83 below.


Origins and aims of the programme

  21.    The EU-funded Tacis programme was first conceived in December 1990 at a meeting of the European Council in Rome. Taking into account the experience which already existed from the Phare programme, the Council recognised that the economic reform initiatives then taking place in the last days of the Soviet Union were important in promoting peace and stability in Europe and in the rest of the world. (Later this was seen to be of even greater importance after the break-up of the Soviet Union and with the establishment of the NIS.) The Council decided that the EU should support the then Soviet Union in two ways—by providing know-how and by supplying humanitarian aid.

  22.    The Tacis programme was subsequently drawn up to provide the "know-how" element with an initial budget of 400 mecu (£280 million)[12], which at the time was the largest budget for this type of support ever provided for a single country. The programme was formally established in July 1991 by Council Regulation 2157/91[13]; this was subsequently replaced in 1993 by a second Regulation (2053/93)[14], which also incorporated Mongolia, and by a third Regulation in July 1996 (1279/96)[15], which is still in force, for a period up to the end of 1999 and with a budget of 2.224 becu[16] (approximately £1.5 billion).

  23.    In the current Tacis Regulation (Articles 1 and 3) the fundamental role of the programme is described as: "A programme to assist economic reform and recovery in the partner States (of the NIS and Mongolia)....Assistance shall be concentrated on sectors and, where appropriate, on geographical areas in which the partner States have already taken concrete measures to promote reform and/or for which they can present a time-schedule....The programme...shall mainly take the form of technical assistance in support of the economic reform in progress in the partner States for measures aimed at bringing about the transition to a market economy and reinforcing democracy".[17]

The Programme Beneficiaries

  24.    Tacis programme beneficiaries are a wide range of NIS organisations, some of which will have proposed projects in their early stages. They include public organisations (e.g. government institutions, public administrations, local and regional authorities and state companies), non-commercial organisations (e.g. non-governmental organisations, higher education institutions, research and technical institutes, trade and professional associations, and chambers of commerce) and private organisations (private companies and consultants).


  25.    Article 3(6) of the 1996 Tacis Regulation specifies the following "indicative areas", to which priority is to be given:

     Human Resources development

     Enterprise restructuring and development

     Transport and telecommunications infrastructure

     Energy, including nuclear safety

     Food production, processing and distribution

     Environment (not mentioned in the earlier Regulations).

Of these, the indicative area of the environment is further divided into three priority areas: institutional strengthening, legislation and training.

  26.    Article 5 requires "indicative programmes" covering four-year periods to be prepared for each NIS country: these "define the principal objectives of, and guidelines for, Community assistance in the indicative areas", and are followed up with detailed annual "action programmes" which list the main projects to be financed within each indicative area. For both types of programme, under procedure laid down by Article 8, the Commission is advised by a committee of Member States' representatives (chaired by a Commission representative), known as the Tacis Management Committee (see also paragraph 76 below). The Committee delivers its opinions on Commission proposals by qualified majority voting, and if it is in agreement with the proposals the Commission may then adopt them; otherwise they are referred to the Council for decision.

Partnership and Co­operation Agreements (PCA)

  27.    To provide a more focused framework for Tacis operations, especially in the field of economic co­operation, the European Union has been progressively replacing the 1989 EC/USSR Trade and Economic Co­operation Agreement with a series of bilateral Partnership and Co­operation Agreements (PCAs) with the NIS countries and Mongolia. By the end of 1997, PCAs had been developed with 10 NIS countries (Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan, ie all NIS except Tajikistan and Turkmenistan). The PCA with the Russian Federation came into force in December 1997; that with Ukraine in March 1998. The new PCAs are diverse and reflect the different situations which exist in the separate NIS countries, but each PCA establishes a strong and comprehensive political and economic partnership between the EU and the NIS concerned covering, in particular, trade in goods, political dialogue and a variety of trade-related matters. Responsibility for developing and overseeing activities under the PCAs lies with joint PCA Co­operation Councils and Committees.

  28.    In the 1997 Tacis Annual Report, the Commissioner responsible for external relations with (among others) the CEECs, the NIS and Mongolia (Hans Van den Broek) has underlined the growing importance which the Commission attaches to the development and smooth-running of the PCAs:

  "With the dawning of the era of the PCAs, there is now a new coherence between the vehicles of EU/NIS relationships....The future role of Tacis will be more and more to underpin the PCA process, which is a challenging task aimed at achieving further stability and prosperity in the fascinating world of the NIS".[18]

  29.    Unfortunately political developments in certain of the NIS have operated against the successful implementation of PCAs and other forms of technical assistance. During 1997 Tacis involvement in Belarus was at first scaled down amid concerns over the 1996 referendum and subsequent political events, and in September 1997, all technical aid was frozen, leaving humanitarian aid and regional and democratisation programmes as the only forms of assistance. Also, Tacis activities in Tajikistan were suspended in 1997, as the deteriorating political situation had made it impossible to provide technical assistance in a sustainable way.[19]

Regional and National Tacis Programmes and Projects

  30.    Figure 1 shows the structure of the main Tacis programme delivery mechanisms. The term "indicative programme" is used to describe the main framework for Tacis activities in a particular country over a four-year period, with a clear identification of priorities and key sectors, of donor coordination and of the "budget envelope". In this context the current Tacis Indicative Programmes are for the period 1996 to 1999, with work being already well advanced for the Indicative Programme to follow.

  31.    From 1996, individual annual Action Programmes have been prepared for the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and biennially for the other Tacis partner countries. A Tacis Action Programme comprises individual projects and activities which support the sector objectives which have been established within the context of the appropriate Indicative Programme, and also allocates the funding available for the included activities. There are three types of Action Programme:

     National or Country programmes, for each individual partner country (taking up 57 per cent of funding in the current Indicative Programme)

     Regional programmes in which several partner countries participate: these are the Tacis Inter-State and Cross-Border Co­operation Programmes[20] (taking up 33 per cent of funding in the current Indicative Programme)

     Small Project programmes (taking up 11 per cent of funding in the current Indicative Programme).

The individual Tacis National Programmes are selected according to the process outlined above, within the contexts of the overall Indicative Programme and the PCA with the country concerned.

  32.    The identification and selection of Regional Programmes is conducted annually in a joint meeting of the NIS Co­ordinating Unit[21] representatives, a meeting which is chaired by the European Commission and where, in principle, unanimous decisions are required for a project to be selected. The Tacis Inter-State Programme is designed to address those problems which require similar solutions in a number of different Tacis partner countries or where groups of countries have to work together in order to achieve a significant impact on the environment, for example. In addition to this, other criteria are taken into account in the selection process for Inter-State projects, as follows:

     projects should build upon existing initiatives

     projects should be sufficiently large and few in number in keeping with the focus and scale of the agreed Tacis actions

     projects should be geographically balanced and be supported by institutional structures.

Examples of Inter-State projects are the programmes of "Developing Common Environmental Policies for the NIS and Mongolia" and "Raising Public Environmental Awareness".

  33.    The current Tacis Cross-Border Co­operation Programme dates from the beginning of the Indicative Programme for 1996-99. It is designed to reflect the importance being attached to stable cross-border relations and to the significance of cross-border regions in the furthering of communication and trade relationships. In 1996, a separate budget line was created for cross-border co­operation between the NIS and the borders with the EU and the CEECs, which will focus upon the transfer of know-how and upon small-scale infrastructure projects. The borders which are concerned here are:

     the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, with those of the EU (Finland only) and the CEECs (the Baltic Republics, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria[22]);

     the maritime border of the Baltic Sea.

Within these border areas, the following broad group of projects are funded:

     Border Networks

     Trans-boundary environmental problems

     Cross-Border co­operation at the local level

     Supporting Measures.

  34.    The Tacis Small Project Programmes (SPP) consist of targeted and flexible projects which may be implemented relatively quickly. They cover all the NIS and are funded through individual country allocations via the appropriate National Action Programme budget. Though individual projects may be relatively small, collectively they add up to over 11 per cent of the 1996-99 Indicative Programme budget. They are able to target beneficiaries at the grass-roots level, for example individual entrepreneurs, an NGO, or local government administration, thereby supporting a key tenet of the Tacis Programme, which is to foster a pluralist, civil society. The SPP embrace five broad themes: Policy Advice, Civil Society, Education and Training, Enterprise Support and International Standards and Commitments. Further details of sub-programmes and projects covered by the SPP are given in paragraphs 49-66 below.


  35.    The 1997 Tacis Annual Report (see paragraph 28) contains the most recent and comprehensive statement of Tacis programme financing. This indicates that, by the year 1997, the overall Tacis budget had reached a total of 482 mecu (c £340 million, or roughly 0.5 per cent of the EU budget of some £70 billion). The report refers to the fact that Tacis was able to speed up the process of approvals during 1997, with the result that all new programmes could begin earlier than in previous years; at the same time the deadline for submission of proposals for Tacis funding was brought forward to an earlier date in the year compared with previous years. Figures 2a-2d contain further details of Tacis funding.

  36.    The Annual Report also points out that "the real leap forward" was in terms of funds actually contracted during 1997, which came to a total of 691 mecu (£484 million); this was 28 per cent ahead of the original estimate, the highest figure since the Tacis programme began and a 52 per cent increase on the equivalent figure for 1996. A further achievement during 1997 was a substantial reduction in committed but uncontracted funds, which were cut from 752 mecu (£526 million) in 1996 to 543 mecu (£380 million) in 1997, a reduction of 28 per cent. Payment performance was also improved over the same period, 405 mecu (£283 million) being paid out (an increase of 8 per cent on the previous year), with the average payment period being cut from 85 days to 56 days.

  37.    The improvements in financial performance were achieved by taking the following steps:

     reducing the backlog of uncommitted funds from previous years, which amounted to the equivalent of 1.5 years' budget equivalent

     enhanced tendering and evaluation procedures

     new contract rules which were introduced in January 1997

     new rules on the reimbursement of contract staff abroad

     a tightening up of in-house programme management

     improved computerised systems for checking progress

     more staff training and development.

At the same time, steps were taken reduce another barrier to effective management, which was the large number of projects which had accumulated in the past—many of them considered to be "too small" by the report. During 1997, therefore, the policy became one of "design fewer and larger projects".[23]

1   When the programme was first launched in 1991, TACIS stood for "Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States". Although the Commonwealth still exists for certain purposes, it has become customary to refer to the CIS countries as the "New Independent States" (NIS). With the extension of the programme to Mongolia, the original acronym TACIS became doubly inappropriate; "Tacis" now appears in Commission documents as a proper name, common to all languages and with no self-evident meaning. We have adopted this convention in this Report, and have also followed the practice of many of our witnesses in using "Tacis" to refer both to the programme of technical assistance and to the organisation (a section of the Commission's Directorate General 1A) which runs the programme. Back

2   As this Report is concerned with policy, rather than legal questions, we follow Commission practice in using the term "European Union" (EU) when referring to the Tacis programme and to Community activities generally post­1992, even where strict legal accuracy might require the use of "European Community" (EC). In the context of international relations it is, of course, correct to refer to the EU. Back

3   House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities, 16th Report, 1994-95, Environmental Issues in Central and Eastern Europe: the Phare Programme, HL Paper 86; HL Debates, 25 October 1995, cols. 1140-64. Back

4   Originally the French acronym for "Pologne/Hongrie: Assistance à la Restructuration Economique"; by mid­1995 the programme covered 12 Central and Eastern European states. Back

5   The NIS do not include the Baltic States, ie Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; see paragraph 6.  Back

6   Where sources are not given, information can be assumed to come from the Tacis pages on the Europa web site ( and from other descriptive material published by the Commission (DG 1A). For the information on Tacis Tempus we are mainly indebted to the Specialist Adviser to the enquiry. Back

7   Publication of the European Court of Auditors' 1997 Annual Report (OJ C 349, 17 November 1998) coincided with the approval of this Report. The Court's main criticisms in relation to Tacis concern the accounting for expenditure on technical assistance in the nuclear safety field, particularly in Ukraine, on which a Special Report (No 25/98) is due to be published shortly. Nuclear safety issues were outside the scope of Sub-Committee C's enquiry; we note, however, that Chapter 5 of the Annual Report contains a number of comments on the Commission's organisation and procedures for handling external assistance programmes generally, many of which are remarkably similar to the conclusions of our Report. We have indicated by footnotes in Part 3 where there is a close concurrence of view. Back

8   OJ No C 138, 17 May 1993. Back

9   Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia are the first tranche, together with Cyprus. Back

10   The European Union and the Environment, "Europe on the Move" series, European Commission, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, October 1997 (CC­09­97­115­EN­C). Back

11   DG XI website: Back

12   "mecu" = million ecu. In this Report we have used a conversion factor of ecu=£0.70. Back

13   OJ, No L 201, 24 July 1991. Back

14   OJ, No L 187, 29 July 1993. Back

15   OJ, No L 165, 4 July 1996. Back

16   i.e. billion (109) ecu. Back

17   OJ No L 165, 4 July 1996. Back

18   European Commission: The Tacis Programme Annual Report 1997, COM (98) 416 final, 3 July 1998. Back

19   Tacis 1997 Annual Report. Back

20   The Nuclear Safety Programmes are also included in these categories. Back

21   See paragraph 78. Back

22   Exceptionally Bulgaria is included because of the common interests of European countries bordering the Black Sea. Back

23   Mrs Helen Holm (DG XI) had apparently not heard of this (Q 121). Back

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