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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/77

It has also to be pointed out that, in accordance with Article K.6(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the
Luxembourg Presidency of the Council has submitted the proposal to the European Parliament for its views.

(1) OJ C 337, 7.11.1997, p. 9.

(98/C 304/112) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0322/98
by Riitta Myller (PSE) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: The EU’s new public health programme

A new public health programme for the EU is in preparation. The need for this programme is indisputable and it
needs to come about as soon as possible.

I should like to ask the Commissioner responsible whether the aim is to retain the current disease-centred
approach, or whether a new strategy is being developed taking a wider, holistic approach which promotes general
health. Among other things, such an approach would be in the interests of equality and of avoiding social
marginalization, and would permit demographic changes to be taken into account.

When will the new public health programme be adopted, will its criteria and the direction taken by the European
Union’s health policy be debated openly with the Member States and how will the feedback from the Member
States be taken into account?

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

The Commission fully agrees with the Honourable Member that a new public health policy has to be developed
in order to respond to a number of important developments, such as emerging threats to health from new and
resurgent diseases and increasing pressure on health systems, the enlargement of the Community, and the new
public health provisions in the Treaty of Amsterdam. Moreover, as most of the current public health programmes
expire around the year 2000, a new policy will need to be in place by then.

Detailed policy proposals cannot, however, be presented until after the new EC Treaty has been ratified, since it
includes significant changes to the existing legal competence on public health. In the meantime the Commission
intends to put forward shortly a preparatory communication which will set out the possible lines of a new policy.
The new policy would be broad and flexible enough to accommodate side by side actions directed at particular
diseases and initiatives in relation to the socio-economic determinants of health, such as the important areas of
health inequalities, social exclusion and demographic developments, mentioned by the Honourable Member.

This forthcoming communication should stimulate a wide-ranging debate on the future of Community public
health policy. The Commission will take full account of the reactions to the ideas presented in the
communication in drawing up its detailed policy proposals.

(98/C 304/113) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0326/98
by David Hallam (PSE) to the Commission
(10 February 1998)

Subject: Discrimination against persons on the grounds of height

In setting minimum standards of space for passengers in cars, airlines etc., does the Commission agree that the
European Union should reconsider endorsement of the CENs use of historical anthropometric data, where it may
not take account of current or future needs?