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C 310/78 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10.


Answer given by Mr Papoutsis on behalf of the Commission

(21 April 1998)

The development of local exchange trade systems (or LETs) is a phenomenon which is visibly gaining in
popularity, as shown in the cases cited by the Honourable Member.

Their importance, however, differs greatly from one Member State to another. Whilst some Member States see
them almost as public service initiatives, they pose a number of legal problems in other Member States,
particularly as regards taxation, competition, labour law and social security. It is the responsibility of the Member
States to examine most of these specific problems, insofar as these systems have not been subject to
harmonisation measures at Community level.

The Commission is certainly in favour of these many different expressions of solidarity reflected in the LETs
mutual assistance schemes, provided that these are in accordance with the respective legal provisions in the
different Member States.

It should, at all events, be noted that the Member States were asked in the Conclusions to the European Council
Meeting on Employment held in Luxembourg to investigate measures to exploit fully the possibilities offered by
job creation at local level in the social economy and in new activities linked to needs not yet satisfied by the
market, with the aim of reducing any obstacles in the way of such measures (conclusion 65).

In compliance with the principle of subsidiarity, the Commission will, for its part, investigate how all forms of
economic and legal organisation can, on an equal basis, reap the benefits of the Single Market and take part in
future stages of the process of European integration. This will be done by means of Community actions in favour
of cooperatives, mutual societies, associations and foundations (CMAF) which will, through the extension of
initiatives already launched, aim to promote a true and complete image of the sector, demonstrate and raise its
business potential, and improve its ability to prepare for the new challenges and demands of society in the
21st century.

(98/C 310/103) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0530/98

by Ludivina Garcı́a Arias (PSE) to the Commission
(2 March 1998)

Subject: Sexist content of recruitment tests

Has the Commission sought to analyse whether the phycological and aptitude tests regularly used by companies
offering recruitment services ensure equal opportunities for men and women?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 1998)

Studies which the Commission launched on psychotechnical tests, applied in its own recruitment procedures,
showed that such tests disadvantage women disproportionally. The Commission has, therefore, abandoned this
type of test in its own recruitment policy.

Within the next call for proposals in the context of the Fourth action programme on equal opportunities (Council
Decision 95/593/EC of 22 December 1995 (1)) for men and women, the Commission will call for projects on
raising awareness of possible indirect discrimination in recruitment examinations.

(1) OJ L 335, 30.12.1995.