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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?
C 304/78 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10. 98

As the populations of Europe vary significantly in average height, does the Commission agree that the EU should
seek to enforce ranges of appropriate standards, rather than single unsatisfactory ones?

Would the Commission consider that the CEN should be advised to seek the cooperation of groups representing
tall and short people when setting standards?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission
(2 March 1998)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to his written question P-1916/97 (1).

(1) OJ C 21, 22.1.1998.

(98/C 304/114) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0327/98
by Dominique Souchet (I-EDN) to the Commission
(10 February 1998)

Subject: Community aid for cereal supplies to the most remote regions/impact on employment

In the last two years there has been a sharp fall in Community aid for the supply of cereals to the most remote
regions. This is weakening the position of the production sectors dependent on these products (flour mills, animal
feed processors) and poses an additional threat to jobs inin the Community regions which are already among the
most severely affected by unemployment and underemployment.

Could the Commission state what measures it intends to take to reinstate this aid and thus save large numbers of

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission
(17 March 1998)

The Commission is aware of the operational difficulties with the measures laid down by Council Regulation
(EEC)No 3763/91 of 16 December 1991 introducing specific measures in respect of certain agricultural products
for the benefit of the French overseas departments (1), by Council Regulation (EEC) No 1600/92 of 15 June 1992
concerning specific measures for the Azores and Madeira relating to certain agricultural products (2), and by
Council Regulation (EEC) No 1601/92 of 15 June 1992 concerning specific measures for the Canary Islands with
regard to certain agricultural products.(2) The effect of the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP) and
of the conclusion of the Uruguay round is that Community prices are gradually coming into line with world
prices and that of aid granted to products originating in the Community supplied to the most remote regions as
part of the specific measures is being reduced. The Commission is aware that the difficulties inherent in the
operation of this system are prejudicial to the economies of the most remote regions. It is thus examining the
method of calculation laid down by current legislation in order to find a solution which would reduce the
structural disadvantages arising from the geographical remoteness of these regions and thus encourage
development of the productive sectors.

(1) OJ L 356, 24.12.1991.
(2) OJ L 173, 27.6.1992.