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C 301 E/178 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 5.12.

2002

More specifically, in relation to points raised by the Honourable Member, the Commission undertakes the
following activities:

 it develops a study programme and analysis on demography and social trends including family and
household trends, in the context of the annual report: ‘The Social Situation in the European Union’;

 it finances a European Observatory on the Social Situation, Demography and Family, which monitors
demographic, socio-economic and policy trends across the Union with particular emphasis on family
trends and their policy implications. Within this context, reports on the socio-economic situation of
families and on the related policy developments in the Member States are presented each year. They
are available on the website of the Observatory: (http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/family/
observatory/home.html)

 the Commission promotes action for a better reconciliation of work and family life, in the context of
the European Employment Strategy and of the Framework strategy on gender equality, including
elements such as the strengthening of equal opportunities policies, promoting more flexible forms of
work organisation and promoting affordable, accessible and high-quality services caring for children
and other dependents;

 In addition, the Commission publishes, in the context of Missoc (Mutual Information System on Social
Protection), comparative tables on social protection in the Member States, including maternity and
family benefits. This is available on the Directorate general Employment (DG EMPL) website: (http://
europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/missoc2001/index_en.htm);

Finally, regarding best practices in the field, examples can be found as regards the issue of reconciling
work and family life on the DG EMPL website (as above) under the theme equal opportunities.

(2002/C 301 E/190) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1552/02

by Roberta Angelilli (UEN) to the Commission

(3 June 2002)

Subject: Protection of the Italian music industry

The last few years have seen an enormous increase in the industrial-scale pirating of music CDs all over
Europe. In Italy, for example, the recording industry registered losses to the amount of 9,3 % in 2001, and
the figure for the early months of 2002 appears to be as big as 15-20 %. A hit record which sold 700 000
to 800 000 copies five years ago would now sell no more than 400 000. The causes of this trend include
the spread of sophisticated, high-quality reproduction technologies and the growth of the Internet, which
allows users to seek out, download and easily duplicate huge numbers of music files, especially Mp3s.
These practices are causing considerable losses to record companies and artists, and are undermining the
recording industry’s ability to invest resources and protect jobs. Existing copyright law in the Member
States appears not to be strong enough to combat such practices.

The Commission:

1. Can it state whether any guidelines, studies or documents exist concerning copyright law, both in
general and with specific reference to music?

2. Can it state whether studies or documents exist on Internet piracy?


5.12.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 301 E/179

3. Does the Commission intend to propose initiatives with a view to legislative harmonisation at
European level in the area of copyright protection and anti-piracy measures?

4. Can the Commission state its general position on these matters?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(9 July 2002)

1. The Commission would like to recall the consultation process launched on this issue via the Green
Paper ‘Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Single Market’ of 15 October 1998 (1). Music piracy was
one of the many subjects covered. The Commission then adopted a Communication in November 2000 (2),
announcing a series of practical measures intended to strengthen and improve the fight against
counterfeiting and piracy in the European Single Market.

2. In the framework of this Action Plan, the Commission launched a study on a methodology for
collecting, analysing and comparing data in the Single Market. This last item is of particular importance for
the obtention of reliable figures that will enable the interested parties, the Member States and the
Commission to define and apply appropriate measures for combating counterfeiting and piracy. The scope
of this study is very wide and will cover aspects of Internet piracy. The results of this study are expected in
July 2002.

3. The main initiative announced in this Action Plan is a proposal for a Directive aiming to harmonise
Member States’ laws on the means of enforcing Intellectual Property Rights. It is hoped this proposal will
be adopted by the Commission during the course of this year. Over and above this Directive, the
Commission would also like to recall the acquis communautaire in the field of copyright and related rights.
In particular, Directive 2001/29/EC of 22 May 2001 of the Parliament and of the Council on the
harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (3) and Council
Directive 92/100/EEC of 19 November 1992 on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related
to copyright in the field of intellectual property (4), already provide for some provisions which are
important means to fight against piracy.

4. Music piracy is a matter of concern for the Commission. Counterfeiting and piracy have negative
effects on the functioning of the Internal Market, jeopardising innovation, creativity, employment and
competitivity. The Commission believes that these initiatives will help strengthening the fight against
music piracy, including within the digital environment.

(1) COM(98) 569 final.


(2) COM(2000) 789 final.
(3) OJ L 167, 22.6.2001.
(4) OJ L 346, 27.11.1992.

(2002/C 301 E/191) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1557/02


by Eija-Riitta Korhola (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(31 May 2002)

Subject: Exploitation of slag from the steel industry

The Northern Finland environmental permit issuing authority is complying with the EU’s waste directive
by classifying slag produced as a side-product by the steel industry under the heading of waste. This non-
hazardous product, which may basically be regarded as environmentally friendly or indeed as a fertiliser, is
used as a foundation material in road-building and also in the foundations of buildings. Classifying it as
waste does not help its exploitation in any way, and makes it more difficult in many respects.