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17.4.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 92 E/187

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(18 October 2002)

The Honourable Member asks the Commission for clarification on two initiatives in the tourism sector:
The LIFE project ‘VISIT’ and the European eco-label for tourist accommodation.

Both activities should be complementary and aim at improving the environmental performance of tourist
enterprises in Europe through labelling systems. Against a background of about 60 different labels on the
market, the two initiatives look at ways to ensure that the consumer has access to reliable information on
the environmental quality of tourist services.

The VISIT project provides a common information platform to increase public awareness for the
participating labelling schemes. Only those schemes which fulfil some minimum basic standards for their
criteria and their verification procedures can benefit from this platform. This does not imply that all
participating schemes have the same ecological criteria and certification systems.

The European eco-label for tourist accommodation will offer a harmonised European third party certified
eco-label, which is easily recognisable as the same logo will be used for all tourist accommodation with the
award throughout Europe. The consumer can be confident that the service bearing the label is one of the
best with respect to its environmental performance.

With respect to the national Type I labelling systems the Community eco-label has a policy of co-operation
and co-ordination to strengthen their role in achieving more sustainable consumption patterns in Europe.
Thus the Community eco-label criteria currently under development foresee credits for existing Type I eco-
labels in the scoring system. The status of work in this area can be followed on the Commission eco-label
web-site (http://europa.eu.int/ecolabel).

(2003/C 92 E/246) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2580/02


by Joaquim Miranda (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(16 September 2002)

Subject: Attestation of professional competence for cabin crews in civil aviation

In 1997 the Commission submitted a proposal for a Directive (1) on safety requirements and attestation of
professional competence for cabin crews in civil aviation, on which the European Parliament delivered its
opinion at first reading on 19 February 1998.

To date this dossier has not been completed and the training and attestation of professional competence
for cabin crews in civil aviation remain in the hands of the operators, since it has not yet been established
that their training should be carried out by independent bodies appointed by the Member States.

In the meantime, and according to information from trade unions representing cabin staff, an increasing
number of airlines are employing crews on a temporary and seasonal basis, and some of them have even
reduced the period of basic training.

In view of current security concerns in air transport and the importance and responsibility of cabin crews
in this area, can the Commission say why the proposal for a directive has not yet been followed up and
what the prospects are for its definitive adoption?

(1) COM/97/0382  OJ C 263, 29.8.1997, p. 5.


C 92 E/188 Official Journal of the European Union EN 17.4.2003

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(21 October 2002)

The Commission did indeed present a proposal for a Council Directive on safety requirements and
attestation of professional competence for cabin crews in civil aviation (1), which received the support of
the European Parliament. The text has been examined several times by the Council, which has failed to
achieve a qualified majority on it.

The proposal is currently being examined in parallel with the amended proposal for a Regulation of the
European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 of 16 December
1991 on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil
aviation. (2)

It is for the Council to reach a decision on the two texts.

(1) OJ C 263, 29.8.1997, amended by OJ C 109, 20.4.1999.


(2) OJ L 373, 31.12.1991.

(2003/C 92 E/247) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2582/02


by Jan Dhaene (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(10 September 2002)

Subject: Requirement for trucks to be fitted with blind-spot mirrors

In Belgium, one cyclist  in many cases, a young cyclist  is killed every month in an accident caused by
the blind spot in the field of vision of truck drivers. The European Union has made it compulsory in one
of its directives for all new trucks to be equipped with a system which eliminates the blind spot. At the
same time, the European Union decided not to impose this requirement on trucks which were already in
operation; i.e. it did not require retrofitting of trucks. This decision is costing lives.

In view of the above:

 When will the Commission introduce retrofitting of trucks with systems to eliminate blind spots?

 Will the Commission in the near future create tax incentives for the fitting of trucks with systems to
eliminate blind spots, and if so, how?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(18 October 2002)

The problem presented by the Honourable Member indeed covers a serious road safety problem. The
Commission has already taken an initiative to mitigate this problem by proposing an amendment to an
existing vehicle type approval directive in order to make it mandatory in the future to equip all new trucks
and buses with mirrors or cameras enhancing the indirect field of vision of their drivers (1). The
expectation is that this proposal will be approved by the Parliament and the Council before the end of
2002.

However, indeed an important number of existing trucks are not yet equipped with such systems and
could cause further accidents before they are replaced. The Commission considers the opportunity to
prepare a proposal for legislation imposing the retrofitting of existing heavy goods vehicles and long buses
with mirror systems eliminating the blind spot for the beginning of 2003.