23 August 2012
Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE)
The programme for development and economic diversification in rural areas (Proder) focuses on supporting and promoting the rural sector in different parts of Europe. However, it has come to public notice that in areas such as the Portuguese Alentejo, specifically in the municipality of Monforte, instead of supporting the community’s educational development, the local authorities have used European funds to carry out renovation work on a former school to convert it into a bullfighting information centre. Information about the project, which is due for completion in the summer of 2013, can be found on the official website of Monforte town council(1).
The building itself, which is owned by the municipality, will become the headquarters of the local forcados (participants in Portuguese bullfighting).
This municipality has spent funds allocated for rural development and, by extension, for the development of the local community and promotion of proper jobs for people dependent on rural employment, on a facility whose only function is to give a distorted idea of what constitutes animal welfare and promote an activity which is widely criticised throughout Europe. The use of public money to finance these building works also implies a lack of respect towards the most economically deprived regions of Europe, which need this type of funding in order to carry out essential works, projects and infrastructure.
1. Is the Commission aware that rural development funds are being used to finance a future centre for bullfighting resources?
2. Does it consider it reprehensible that Community funding is being used to finance a bullfighting facility?
3. Is the Commission aware of any other cases of Community funds being used to carry out works and projects connected with bullfighting?
4. Does the Commission consider that this type of project should take priority over initiatives to promote employment in rural areas?
26 September 2012
Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission
The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the answer to Written Question E‑005684/2011 by Mr Oriol Junqueras Vies and Raül Romeva i Rueda.