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C 304/70 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(13 March 1998)

Directive 91/628/EEC on the protection of animals during transport (1), amended by Chapter II of the Annex to
Directive 95/29/EEC (2), deals with the transport requirements for domestic birds including racing pigeons.

This legislation applies on both weekends and week days.

(1) OJ L 340, 11.12.1991.
(2) OJ L 148, 30.6.1995.

(98/C 304/100) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0287/98
by Mirja Ryynänen (ELDR) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Status of the Student unions’ umbrella organization ESIB as an expert on education matters in the EU

In preparing its future operations (including new training and retraining programmes) the Commission is seeking
to work together both with the Member States’ authorities and (among others) with national organizations
representing the operators’ target groups. In the Member States university students are represented by a national
union of students which in most cases represents the whole student body and whose status is based on national
legislation. The umbrella organization for these national student unions is ESIB (The National Unions of
Students in Europe, formerly the European Student Information Bureau). ESIB represents 27 national unions and
over 6 million European university students. In view of their status and representativeness at national level, the
ESIB and, through it, its member NUSs, should be accorded a special role in the preparation of education policy
and programmes.

The Commission has invited student organizations to its institutional fora and hearings and has asked for
opinions from various student organizations. However, at the same time the student unions’ umbrella
organization ESIB, which has been accorded an official status at national level, has been neglected.

1. What status is the Commission giving in its preparation work to the student unions’ umbrella organization
ESIB, which is comprehensively representative and enjoys official status at national level?

2. What is the Commission doing to ensure that ESIB is regularly consulted in the preparation of the EU’s
decisions?

Answer given by Mrs Cresson on behalf of the Commission
(8 April 1998)

In the preparation of the Community’s future actions in the area of education, the Commission always considers
carefully the point of view of those concerned.

In this spirit, the Commission adopted in November 1997 the communication ‘Towards a Europe of
knowledge’ (1) setting out the guidelines for its future actions for the period 2000-2006 and aiming to stimulate
discussions at all levels involving organisations representing teachers, students, universities, and social partners.
These discussions will help the Commission in elaborating its proposals for the new generation of Community
programmes in the areas of education, training and youth.

Aware of the important role student associations can play in the implementation of Community programmes in
the education field, the Commission has during the first ten years of the Erasmus experience encouraged the
creation of sectorial students associations (bringing together students of a given study subject area across
Europe) and the cooperation of European associations with universities in activities such as welcoming Erasmus
students from other Member States.
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/71

Moreover, according to Article 5 of Decision No 819/95/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 14 March
1995 establishing the Community action programme Socrates (2), ‘the Commission ... consults the social
partners and the competent associations in the field of education at European level and informs the programme
committee of their opinions’. All non governmental organisations (NGOs) with a European dimension dealing
with education, including the European students information bureau (ESIB), took part in the last consultation
(9-10 February 1998).

The Commission intends to continue reinforcing the students participation in the programmes as well as the
dialogue with student associations. Nevertheless, at present the Commission does not envisage any formal status
to any NGO involved in the field of education nor to any student organisation. It will continue to consult all
relevant associations on a equal basis according to Article 5 of the above mentioned Decision.

Given the leading role of the ESIB, its comments on present and future Community programmes would always
be welcomed by the Commission.

(1) COM(97)563 final.
(2) OJ L 87, 20.4.1995.

(98/C 304/101) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0288/98
by Blaise Aldo (UPE) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Court of Auditors’ report

In its Special Report No. 5/97 (OJ C 159, 26 May 1997) the Court of Auditors pointed out that it was important to
reevaluate the aid for the supply of cereals to remote regions by amending the method of calculation: ‘A remedy
for the supply disadvantages of the POSEI regions might be an annual subsidy calculated to compensate for the
additional transport costs between the regions and the mainland Union territory’.

Could the Commission say which guidelines and decisions it has adopted in this matter, given that for two years
it has been receiving demands for a review of the method used to calculate this aid?

(98/C 304/102) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0289/98
by Blaise Aldo (UPE) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Transport costs between different islands

Can the Commission say why the Community aid arrangements for supplying cereals to remote regions fail to
take into account the cost of transporting these products between the various islands, either within one region,
like the Azores, the Canary islands or Guadeloupe, or within the same geographical zone, such as the French
Antilles?

(98/C 304/103) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0324/98
by Bernard Castagnède (ARE) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Supplies of cereals to the remotest regions

For two years representations have been made to the Commission over the substantial reduction in aid for the
supply of cereals in particular. What does it intend to do to restore an adequate level of aid to meet the aims set
down in the POSEICAN, POSEIDOM and POSEIMA programmes, and in particular the supply of low-price
commodities to those regions?