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27.7.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 235/59

Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Proposal for a European Parliament
and Council Directive amending Directive 64/432/EEC on health problems affecting intra-
Community trade in bovine animals and swine’ (1)

(98/C 235/13)

On 9 March 1998 the Council decided to consult the Economic and Social Committee,
under Articles 43 and 198 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, on the
above-mentioned proposal.

The Section for Agriculture and Fisheries, which was responsible for preparing the Committee’s
work on the subject, adopted its opinion on 12 May 1998. The rapporteur was Mr Pricolo.

At its 355th plenary session (meeting of 27 May 1998), the Economic and Social Committee
adopted the following opinion by 106 votes to four, with five abstentions.

1. Foreword mittee procedure) responsible for devising implementing
rules for the operation of the computer databases.

1.1. The BSE crisis caused widespread alarm and
sapped consumer confidence in beef and beef products. 2.2. The proposal thus concerns procedural rather
The Community was quick to devise a legislative than substantive changes, designed to involve one of the
response, and in April 1997 the Council adopted Direc- Commission’s advisory bodies in the administration of
tive 97/12/EC. This directive updated Directive this area.
64/432/EEC by setting up a computerized database on
bovine animals and swine and their movements.
3. Comments

1.2. In tandem with the adoption of Direc-
tive 97/12/EC, on 21 April 1997 the Council approved 3.1. The Committee notes that one year after the
Regulation (EC) No 820/97 establishing a system for the adoption of Directive 97/12/EC and Regulation (EC)
identification and registration of bovine animals and No 820/97, the computer database giving an animal’s
regarding the labelling of beef and beef products. identity, farm and movements is obviously not yet
operative.

1.3. The aim of these instruments was twofold: firstly, 3.2. The fact that the Commission is now proposing
to enable Member States quickly and effectively to the establishment of implementing rules for the computer
exchange information on the identity of animals, their
database on bovine animals and swine leads the Com-
movements and the farms concerned; secondly, to
mittee to think that Community rules in this field have
introduce ear-tags and animal passports as a way of
not been properly applied hitherto.
tracing the farms or other establishments through which
the animal had passed.
3.3. This delay casts doubt on the credibility of the
Community and/or national authorities and hardly
1.4. It should be noted that the two instruments, helps to restore consumer confidence.
which are closely interlinked, form part of the machinery
enabling appropriate communication between the farm-
er and the database, and full use of the base itself. 3.4. The Committee asks the Commission to present
a progress report on EU-wide implementation of both
Directive 97/12/EC and Regulation (EC) No 820/97.

2. The Commission proposals 3.4.1. The Committee also asks that interested parties
be guaranteed appropriate access to the computerized
data network. Here the Committee is thinking of
2.1. The Commission’s proposed amendment makes farmers’, traders’ and consumer organizations which
the Standing Veterinary Committee (Commission/Com- have a special interest recognized by their Member State.

3.5. Nevertheless, given that the computerized system
has not yet been properly implemented, the Committee
(1) OJ C 100, 2.4.1998, p. 23. supports the Commission proposal on the grounds that
C 235/60 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 27.7.98

the overriding concern remains the protection of public Community trade in bovine animals have not been fully
health. implemented, and again calls on the Commission to
draw up the report mentioned in 3.4 above and submit
3.5.1. However, the Committee deeply regrets that it to the other EU institutions.
the Community rules on health problems in intra-

Brussels, 27 May 1998.

The President
of the Economic and Social Committee
Tom JENKINS

Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Proposal for a Council Decision on
the Community Statistical Programme 1998-2002’

(98/C 235/14)

On 31 March 1998 the Council decided to consult the Economic and Social Committee, in
accordance with Article 198 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, on the
above-mentioned proposal.
The Section for Economic, Financial and Monetary Questions, which was responsible for
preparing the Committee’s work on the subject, adopted its opinion on 12 May 1998. The
rapporteur was Mr Vasco Cal.
At its 355th plenary session held on 27 and 28 May 1998 (meeting of 27 May), the Economic
and Social Committee adopted the following opinion by 118 votes for, none against and with
five abstentions.

1. Introduction 1.3. The Commission identifies four categories of
priorities:
1.1. The Commission is presenting its fifth five-year
programme prepared by Eurostat. The programme will — policy priorities of the Community;
be the subject of a Council Decision in accordance with
Article 3(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 — major statistical or infrastructure projects;
on Community statistics. Regulation (EC) No 322/97
stipulates that the Community should have timely access — evolutionary maintenance of systems supporting
to statistical information which is comparable between existing policy needs;
the Member States and is up-to-date, reliable, relevant
and produced as efficiently as possible for the design, — other statistical indicators required.
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of its poli-
cies.
1.4. The programme will cost between EURO 83 and
1.2. Regulation (EC) No 322/97 also stipulates that 95 million per year.
the Community’s statistical programme must define the
‘approaches, the main fields and the objectives of the
actions envisaged for a period not exceeding five years’. 1.5. The programme spells out proposed action in
The Commission continues this policy in its present the following key areas:
programme by setting itself the objective of ‘providing
the European Union with a high-quality statistical
— Free movement of goods;
information service’, and rising to three challenges, viz.:
meeting the needs of Community policies, improving
cooperation between Eurostat and national statistical — Agriculture;
services (which together form the Community Statistical
Service (CSS), and fixing priorities. — Free movement of persons, services and capital;