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C 229 E/156 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.9.


Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(14 May 2002)

Article 1(a) of Council Directive 75/442/EEC on waste, as amended (1) defines waste as essentially meaning
any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard. The definition has
been interpreted by the Court of Justice so as to mean that, following the environmental protection
principles enshrined in Article 174(2) of the EC Treaty, the concept of waste may not be interpreted
restrictively (2). In relation to ferrochromium scrap referred to by the Honourable Member, a request for a
preliminary ruling is currently pending before the Court that may lead to further clarification on the status
of scrap metal materials in relation to the Directive (3).

The Sixth Environmental Action Programme of the Community calls for clarification of the legislative
distinction between waste and non-waste (4). Within the context of the Programme, the Commission will
take steps to undertake a review on how best to achieve this task.

(1) OJ L 194, 25.7.1975, as amended by Council Directive 91/156/EEC of 18 March 1991 (OJ L 78, 26.3.1991) and
Commission Decision 96/350/EC of 24 May 1996 (OJ L 135, 6.6.1996).
(2) Cases C-418/97 and C-419/97 ARCO Chemie Nederland and Epon [2000] ECR I-4475, at paragraphs 39-40 of
(3) Case C-444/00 The Queen on the application of Mayer Parry Recycling Ltd.
(4) Article 8(2)(iv) of draft Decision of the Parliament and of the Council laying down the Sixth Community
Environmental Action Programme (PE-CONS 3618/02).

(2002/C 229 E/180) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0891/02

by Emmanouil Bakopoulos (GUE/NGL) to the Council

(27 March 2002)

Subject: Regular meetings between Mr Prodi and Mr Schröder

Following the meeting between the Commission President, Mr Prodi, and the German Chancellor,
Mr Schröder, in Barcelona, it was decided that the Commission and the German Government would meet
regularly prior to each summit. It is reported that the first such encounter will take place in Berlin before
the next summit.

Will this be followed by similar meetings with leaders of other countries or will this initiative be restricted
to Germany and possibly other larger countries?


(27 June 2002)

The Council would ask the Honourable Member to put his question directly to the Commission.

(2002/C 229 E/181) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0897/02

by Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(5 April 2002)

Subject: Pupils dropping out of compulsory education

According to Greek press reports, 150 000 children have abandoned their lower secondary school
education in recent years in Greece, while 10 000 children drop out of compulsory education annually.
These findings regarding school drop-out rates came from the Greek Educational Institute’s ‘Registry of
Lower Secondary School Pupils entering the Employment Market’. According to these findings, the largest
26.9.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 229 E/157

lower secondary school drop-out rates occur in the prefectures of Evritania, Ilia, Lakonia, Xanthi, Rodopi
and in ‘tourist’ areas of Crete, the Dodecanese Islands and the Ionian Islands.

Is the Commission aware of this? How could it ensure that Greece takes measures specifically designed to
counter this trend? What are the compulsory education drop-out rates in other Member States in other EU
Member States? What are the current illiteracy rates in each of the 15 EU Member States?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(31 May 2002)

In the field of education, the Member States are, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity,
themselves responsible for the organisation and content of their education systems. It is therefore not for
the Commission to intervene in order that Greece should take particular measures.

As regards statistics in the Member States, Eurostat provides the following data:

Drop-out rate from compulsory education by EU Member State, plus Iceland and Norway
(% of the 18-24 age-group receiving only a lower secondary education) 2001
Average EUR 15 European Union (15 countries) (1) 19,7
By country
B Belgium 13,6
DK Denmark 16,8
D (incl. former German Democratic Republic (GDR) since 1991) (2) I
GR Greece 16,5
E Spain 28,0
F France 13,1
IRL Ireland I
I Italy 25,9
L Luxembourg (1) 16,8
NL Netherlands 15,3
AT Austria 10,2
P Portugal ( ) 44,3
FI Finland 10,3
SE Sweden (1) 7,7
UK United Kingdom I
IS Iceland (3) (1) 28,6
NO Norway (3) 9,2
() Estimate.
(2) Not available.
(3) Countries covered by the Socrates programme.

The Commission does not have any comprehensive and reliable data on illiteracy rates in the 15 Member
States, nor any data on the drop-out rate from lower secondary education.