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C 235 E/98 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.8.


The Commission started its proceedings on the basis of complaints from players’ representatives and clubs
in 1997 and 1998 which argued that the FIFA rules were illegal because they deny the footballers the right
to negotiate their way out of contracts. The Commission’s objective since then has been to find a balance
between players’ fundamental right to free movement and the equally legitimate objective of integrity of
sports competitions and the stability of championships.

The Commission had several meetings with the players union, FIFPro, in the course of the recent

It is of particular note in this regard that:

 FIFA rules will no longer prohibit players from taking contractual disputes to national courts, and
there will be no FIFA rule (and thereby control) as regards agreed international transfers;

 A voluntary dispute resolution mechanism is envisaged, with members chosen in equal numbers by
players and clubs and with an independent chairman, that can review matters related to, for example,
breach of contract, sports sanctions, and the level of training compensation fees;

 FIFA has agreed that after two seasons’ experience there will be a general review of the new
arrangements, and that it will review the findings with the various members of the football family.

The Commission also invited FIFA and UEFA to encourage clubs to start or pursue the social dialogue with
representative bodies of football players, and the Commission’s assistance to social dialogue at European
level has been offered.

(2001/C 235 E/104) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0039/01

by Jeffrey Titford (EDD) to the Commission

(18 January 2001)

Subject: European Union target reduction in live animal experiments

The Chief Executive of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, Michelle Thew, recently stated:
‘The United Kingdom Government should be ashamed of its track record so far on animal experiments.
The Government has so far betrayed its pre-election pledge to significantly reduce the number of United
Kingdom animal experiments; it has failed to implement any strategy whatsoever to achieve the target of
a 50 % reduction in animal experiments adopted by the European Community, and it has failed the British
public who are increasingly frustrated with the Government’s lack of action’.

1. When was this 50 % target reduction announced?

2. By what committee of the European Commission was it announced?

3. Within what timescale is the 50 % reduction in live animal experiments to be achieved?

4. What monitoring arrangements have been put in place in the fifteen Member States of the European

5. What is the current progress in meeting the 50 % target reduction in each of the Members States of
the European Union, including the United Kingdom?

6. What action does the European Union propose to take in cases where insufficient progress is being
made towards the target reduction?
21.8.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 235 E/99

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(26 March 2001)

A 50 % reduction in animals used for experimental purposes by the year 2000 was set as a target in Fifth
Environmental Action Programme as presented by the Commission in 1992. It was never stated against
which base the 50 % reduction should be measured. Furthermore, this particular target was never adopted
by the Council. The Commission considers, however, this indicative target as a tool to encourage the
stakeholders to actively reduce the numbers of animals used in experiments in the Community, also
beyond the year 2000.

With regard to monitoring and progress, Article 13, Paragraph 1 of Council Directive 86/609/EEC of
24 November 1986 on the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes (1)
states that ‘On the basis of requests for authorization and notifications received, and on the basis of the
reports made, the authority in each Member State shall collect, and as far as possible periodically make
publicly available, the statistical information on the use of animals in experiments …’.

In addition, Article 23 states that ‘At regular intervals not exceeding three years, and for the first time five
years following notification of this Directive, Member States shall inform the Commission of the measures
taken in this area and provide a suitable summary of the information collected under the provisions of
Article 13. The Commission shall prepare a report for the Council and the European Parliament’.

According to the Second Commission Report on the statistics on the number of animals used for
experiments in the Community (2), the total number of animals used for experiments in the Community
in 1996 was 11,6 millions. By comparison, the First Report (3) for 1991/1992 showed a total of 11,8
million animals used but these figures covered only 10 Member States instead of 15 today. This
demonstrates that Member States are making substantial efforts to reduce the number of animals used
for experimental purposes.

Since neither the 50 % target was ever adopted nor the base line agreed, the Commission is not in
a position to take formal action against Member States. Instead, together with Member States, the
Commission promotes the development and the validation of alternative methods as a means to reducing
the number of animals used in experiments.

The Fifth framwork programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration (RTD)
Activities 1998-2002 (4) makes provisions for such research. In particular, within the three key actions of
the specific programme on quality of life and management of living resources, namely ‘food, nutrition and
health’, ‘cell factory’ and ‘environment and health’, the Commission supports the development of
alternatives to animal experiments.

In 1991, the Commission established a European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods
(ECVAM), which is a unit of the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection of the Commission’s Joint
Research Centre, located at Ispra, Italy. ECVAM’s principal duty is to co-ordinate the validation of
advanced, non-animal test methods at the Community level, that is, to establish their relevance and
reliability for their stated purposes.

Recently, three in vitro methods, validated by ECVAM, were placed in Annex V of Council Directive 67/
548/EEC of 27 June 1967 on the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (5) and are
now available for regulatory purposes. The Commission attaches great importance to this work and is
actively seeking to get these methods incorporated in the Organisation for economic cooperation and
development (OECD) Test Guidelines Programme, in order to secure their world-wide application.

(1) OJ L 358, 18.12.1986.

(2) COM(1999) 191 final.
(3) COM(94) 195 final.
(4) OJ L 26, 1.2.1999.
(5) OJ B 196, 16.8.1967.