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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 46 E/213

If the Commission introduced this policy to ensure that its staff management was more rational and more
closely tailored to the tasks to be accomplished, why are the fixed-term contracts in question not designed
to coincide with the duration of the specific projects involved?

Does the Commission not agree that the new research staff policy limits the application of the principle
that the Commission should make the best and most effective use of the scarce personnel resources at its
disposal, which lies at the heart of the administrative reforms sought by Mr Prodi?

Answer given by Mr Busquin on behalf of the Commission

(27 June 2000)

The contracts referred to by the Honourable Member cover temporary staff for a maximum fixed term of
three years, as provided for by the new staff policy arising from the research budget (NPPR) adopted by the
Commission in 1996. Their purpose was to enable a certain amount of flexibility to be achieved in
managing specialist human resources, more particularly in the areas in which the Commission does not
have any recruitment pool. Their number may not exceed 25 % of the research payroll.

It should be stressed that these contracts are not intended to extend throughout a framework programme
nor even a particular project. They constitute an additional form of recruitment to that applying to other
research-budget temporary staff which, as stressed by the Honourable Member, meets a management
requirement that is more targeted on part of the research staff.

Since these contracts are for a fixed term and restricted to three years the applicant selection procedure is
carried out by the departments on the basis of permanent applicant database fed via a call for applications
accompanied by extensive publicity in the European, and specialist, press.

The other temporary staff, representing the stable core of the NPPR, receive an initial five-year contract,
which can be renewed once for the same duration and, subsequently, for an indeterminate period. These
staff members are selected from the recruitment list drawn up in the wake of a selection process
containing tests comparable to those used in the Commission’s general competitions.

On the basis of the above and in view of the obligations under the staff rules which the Commission must
meet in order to organise competitions, it would seem that there is no basis for carrying out a cost/benefit

Finally, the three-year fixed-term staff are informed from the outset that the duration of their contract is
strictly limited. If they wish to make a career within the Commission they of course have the option of
taking competitions or submitting to selection procedures under the same conditions as the other

The Commission feels that the NPPR, and in particular the three-year contracts enabling staff to be
recruited very quickly in highly specialised areas where there are no waiting lists for recruitment is
perfectly in line with the implementation of the principles of efficiency and optimum use of resources
which is one of the cornerstones of the reform policy.

(2001/C 46 E/257) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1788/00

by Salvador Garriga Polledo (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(8 June 2000)

Subject: Asturian Rural Accommodation Network

At a meeting recently held by the Spanish Rural Tourism Association, attention was once again drawn to
the importance which has been acquired, in the Community tourism sector, by the activities of those who
promote this type of tourism in rural areas of the Community.
C 46 E/214 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 13.2.2001

In this connection the activities pursued by the Asturian Rural Accommodation Network may be
highlighted. This body operates in one of the most scenically attractive regions of the Community and
the direct technical assistance which it provides to new promoters of rural tourism in Asturias has led to
the creation of many direct jobs in the region and approximately half as many indirect jobs.

What Community aid has been provided for the development of the Asturian Rural Accommodation
Network and to what extent, and in what way, can the promoters of this type of rural tourism in Asturias
gain access to the Community aid available to the sector?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(3 July 2000)

The Commission is collecting the information it needs to answer the question. It will communicate its
findings as soon as possible.

(2001/C 46 E/258) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1828/00

by Gilles Savary (PSE) to the Commission
(31 May 2000)

Subject: Social security  coordination at European level

Two European citizens who are resident in France and, pursuant to Community provisions on social
security, respectively in receipt of a Belgian pension from the Belgian Pensions Agency and a pension from
the Aquitaine Regional Health Insurance Fund (Caisse Régionale d’Assurance Maladie Aquitaine) on the
one hand and of a Spanish pension and a pension from the Aquitaine Regional Health Insurance Fund on
the other, had been initially informed that the Aquitaine Regional Health Insurance Fund would assume
the cost of a home help.

A ministerial circular of 22 April 1999 stated that the National Old Age Pension Fund (Caisse Nationale
d’Assurance Vieillesse) was not liable to pay out unless the greater number of quarterly social security
contributions had been paid into the general scheme.

In view of this circular, the Aquitaine Regional Health Insurance Fund said that it would not bear the cost
of a home help for the two pensioners.

In the case of the two pensioners in question, the majority of quarterly contributions were made to the
Belgian and to the Spanish social security systems respectively, neither of which will bear such costs other
than for pensioners resident in their countries.

Is the circular of 22 April 1999 in keeping with current Community law provisions on social security and,
consequently, is the refusal to bear the cost referred to above legal in view of such provisions?

What rights do these two people have as regards home help and with regard to which national authorities?

Should it become apparent that there are no Community provisions to deal with such a situation and
identify which authority is responsible for the provision of such benefits, does the Commission intend to
complement Community legislation as soon as possible in order to guarantee a high level of old age
benefits to all Community citizens in such situations no matter where they have chosen to reside within
the European Union?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(28 June 2000)

The Commission would point out to the Honourable Member that a similar question was posed to the
Court of Justice, which had to examine whether the benefits of the new ‘long-term care insurance’ scheme,
introduced on 1 January 1995 by the German legislator, constitute sickness benefits within the meaning of