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C 304/148 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

(98/C 304/222) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0698/98
by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) and Salvatore Tatarella (NI) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: Pollution-related diseases

In connection with the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision adopting a programme of
Community action 1999-2003 on pollution-related diseases in the context of the framework for action in the field
of health (COM(97) 266 final − 97/0153 (COD)) (1), as regards the second specific objective (‘risk perception
and risk management’) and in order to avoid unnecessarily alarming the population and encourage people to
reduce exposure to environmental risks to the minimum, does the Commission not agree that much more is
required than the mere dissemination of information? People must trust those who supply the information and
attention must be devoted to aspects such as the social background and competence of the people involved.
Finally, the communication and dissemination of information must be organized systematically.

(1) OJ C 214, 16.7.1997, p. 7.

(98/C 304/223) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0699/98
by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) and Salvatore Tatarella (NI) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: Pollution-related diseases

In connection with the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision adopting a programme of
Community action 1999-2003 on pollution-related diseases in the context of the framework for action in the field
of health (COM(97) 266 final − 97/0153 (COD)) (1), as regards the third specific objective (‘respiratory diseases
and allergies’) can the Commission ensure that, on the basis of the same general criteria, the action programme
targets other major diseases and that the importance of preventing other allergies, such as food allergies, is
emphasized?

(1) OJ C 214, 16.7.1997, p. 7.

Joint answer to Written Questions
E-0695/98, E-0696/98, E-0697/98, E-0698/98 and E-0699/98
given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission
(16 April 1998)

In its communication on and proposal for a public health action programme on pollution-related diseases (1), the
Commission set out a three-pronged approach on diseases linked with environmental pollution: first, to fight
pollution at the source, second, to act on concentrations of pollutants and the population exposed to them. Both
aspects are essential elements of the Community policy on environment. The third element is complementary,
and consists of public health action to be directed towards the mitigation of effects of pollution on individuals
that for technical or economic considerations, might not be avoided. The proposed measures are consistent with
other actions relevant to pollution-related diseases.

As indicated by the Commission at the March 1998 session of the Parliament, it is not possible, in the current
state of the financial perspectives, to foresee funding of the proposed programme exceeding, for each of the five
years of its duration, the amount of 1.3 MECU earmarked for the first year (1999).

The Commission underlined in its communication the importance of scientific data on the causal relationship
between pollution and disease and of collating and evaluating existing data on causality.

The Commission also proposed measures to increase the level of knowledge and understanding about
pollution-related diseases and their perception, assessment and management. The reason for this is that risks are
not perceived in the same way by the scientific community, policy makers and the public, and that action is
necessary to achieve an effective communication between these parties.