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C 115 E/148 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 16.5.


One of the targets of the Union Action Plan on Drugs 2000  2004 (1) is to reduce substantially over five
years the availability of illicit drugs. The measures to achieve this include, among others, ensuring high
level of security at external borders, joint control teams and effective use of forensic and law enforcement
information. Alongside with the Union Action Plan, the Member States have developed strategies and
measures for drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation and for tackling the supply and illicit traffic of
drugs. These strategies provide an overall framework for drug related activities and can be adapted to
counter the variations in the availability of heroin and other drugs.

Also, according to the information provided by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug
Addiction (EMCDDA) and by Europol, the availability, price and purity of heroin in illicit market, as well
as the amount of heroin users, have been relatively stable during the last years.

Finally, without taking any position on the likelihood of the scenario presented in this written question,
some of the possible consequences of such a scenario could be the following. There is some evidence that
when the price of heroin increases, injecting becomes a more favoured form of consumption than it
already is in EU. This may lead to increased exposure of addicts to communicable diseases (Human
immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), hepatitis etc.). The low purity
level increases the risks caused by impurities. On law enforcement, higher prices may lead to an increase in
drug related criminality, especially in property crime. However, the decreasing availability may also act as
an incentive for the drug addicts to seek treatment and prevent the recruitment of new users, especially
among young people.

(1) COM(2001) 301 final.

(2002/C 115 E/152) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2702/01

by Mario Mauro (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(3 October 2001)

Subject: Sustainable tourism in the European Union

The European Union is one of the world’s major tourist destinations.

In 1997 the Commission initiated three studies on integrated quality management in rural, urban and
coastal tourist destinations. These studies are aimed at identifying and analysing best practice in integrated
quality management in countries belonging to the European Economic Area and contributing to exchanges
of information and knowledge transfer within Europe and serving as a guide to the public sector, in
particular local authorities, and the private sector, in particular tourist companies. These studies were also
intended to constitute a first step towards preparing sustainable development indicators for the tourist
industry (beyond the transport and energy sectors).

It would in fact be desirable to develop a policy aimed at preserving as far as possible resources and all
forms of environment (ecological, landscape, archaeological) from the impact of the tourist industry,
guaranteeing compatibility between tourist activities and the protection of areas of great natural beauty
and biological value and drawing up directives, e.g. on the ‘load capacity’ of tourist destinations.

In this connection, will the Commission state whether it is about to draw up a strategy for the
improvement of Community tourist areas, as announced?

Has the Commission considered the possibility of promoting initiatives to support sustainable tourism in
the European Union, taking due account of the economic importance of this sector, as well as its impact
on regional planning and increasing international competition?
16.5.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 115 E/149

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(10 December 2001)

Following the mandate of the Internal Market Council of 21 June 1999, the Commission set up, in close
cooperation with Member States, five working groups aimed at further investigating the priority areas
signalled for concrete action. One of them referred to the ‘promotion of environmental protection and
sustainable tourism in Europe’. Besides Member States, experts representing the views of the tourism
industry, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), consumer organisations and other relevant stakeholders
were associated with this work. On the basis of the conclusions and recommendations issued by the
Working Groups, the Commission has adopted, on 13 November 2001, a Communication on the future
of European tourism (1), which presents an operational framework for the monitoring of policies and
activities in the Community based on an open coordination method.

In line with the unanimous agreement of all stakeholders, the Communication includes a measure to
launch the process for developing and further implementing the principles of sustainable tourism
development through the ‘Agenda 21 for European Tourism’. The Agenda 21 for Tourism is meant as an
input to the World Summit on Sustainable Development of September 2002 in Johannesburg.

Furthermore, the Commission is conducting a survey on an ‘Early warning system for identifying declining
tourist destinations and preventive best practices’. The early warning system to be developed in this study
will have the purpose of allowing inter alia tourism destinations to detect the signals of decline in a wide
range of situations and enabling them to undertake suitable actions. The definition and measurement of
carrying capacity is at the core of this study. It needs a systematic selection of indicators able to measure
and monitor the evolution of tourism towards sustainability patterns. The dynamics of monitoring is one
of the five stages in the Integrated Quality Management approach.

Finally, the Commission is also carrying out a study on ‘Using natural and cultural heritage for the
development of sustainable tourism in non-traditional tourist destinations’ which intends to provide basic
guidance on the development of sustainable tourism based on natural and cultural heritage in non
traditional tourist destinations and to draw up conclusions and recommendations including sources of
funding to promote such initiatives.

(1) COM(2001) 665.

(2002/C 115 E/153) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2710/01

by Rolf Linkohr (PSE) to the Commission

(3 October 2001)

Subject: Net import requirement for cereals

According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) estimates, the net import
requirement for cereals will rise to almost 200 million tonnes world-wide in 2015, and is even expected to
climb to 270 million tonnes in 2030. Consequently, the European Union is likely to increase its net
exports fourfold over the next 30 years, to more than 60 million tonnes.

1. Does the Commission agree with these estimates?

2. Can the European Union produce such a quantity of cereals at world market prices?

3. Does this not contradict the policy of growing more renewable raw materials instead of cereals?