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C 92 E/212 Official Journal of the European Union EN 17.4.


Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(29 November 2002)

In 1990 the Commission introduced a project entitled European Statistics on Accidents at Work (ESAW)
in order to harmonise data on accidents at work. Since 1994, harmonised figures have been available in
this area in the Member States. It should be noted, however, that the extent to which accidents at work are
declared varies a great deal between Member States and that some declare less than 50 %, which results in
distorted data and makes it difficult to compare the figures.

The Commission indicated in its Communication ‘Adapting to change in work and society: a new
Community strategy on health and safety at work 2002-2006’ (1) of 11 March 2002 that one of the
objectives to be targeted jointly with the Member States was a continuing reduction in occupational
accidents and illnesses.

The Commission believes that improving the quality of work (2), particularly in the form of a healthy and
safe working environment, is one of the essential components of adopting a global approach to wellbeing
at work. Accordingly, it is always possible to improve working conditions in all Member States, including

(1) COM(2002) 118 final.

(2) Objective which the Union set itself at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000.

(2003/C 92 E/272) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2792/02

by Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(4 October 2002)

Subject: Monitoring epizootic diseases in Greece

The Commission has recently published reports DG(SANCO)/8551/2002 and DG(SANCO)/8505/2002 on

foot-and-mouth disease and wild and farmed game and rabbit meat, respectively. These reports give a full
description of the situation in Greece as regards staff shortages and the shortcomings in the treatment of
samples. They also state that emergency funding available to the veterinary services is either limited or
non-existent and sharply criticise the lack of modern technology (computers, fax machines, etc) and the
inadequate accommodation of the state control services.

Have the Greek authorities called into question the findings of the EU controls?

Has the threat of foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever been completely eradicated in Greece?
Are unimpeachable controls being carried out to guarantee absolutely the safety of the consumption of
wild and farmed game and rabbit meat in Greece?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(6 November 2002)

The Greek authorities have responded to the draft reports of these missions. They offered a small number
of clarifying observations in respect of the findings of report, DG(SANCO)8551/2002, but not in respect
of report DG(SANCO)8505/2002. At the same time, they provided initial information on the actions taken
in response to the recommendations of both reports. These responses are reflected as appropriate in the
final reports of the missions, which were sent to the Parliament on 31 July 2002 (DG(SANCO)/8551/
2002) and 13 September 2002 (DG(SANCO)/8505/2002). In addition, both the final reports, and the
comments from the Greek authorities, have been placed on the internet site of the Health and Consumer
Protection Directorate General (1).
17.4.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 92 E/213

The Commission has no reason to believe that either Foot and Mouth Disease or Classical Swine Fever are
present in Greece at the present time. The Greek authorities are required, under Council Directive 82/894/
EEC of 21 December 1982 on the notification of animal diseases within the Community (2), to notify the
Commission within 24 hours of a primary outbreak of either disease.

Following receipt of the initial Greek response to report DG(SANCO)/8505/2002, the Food and Veterinary
Office reminded the Greek authorities, in a letter dated 10 October 2002, of the need to submit an action
plan indicating the further measures taken to respond to the conclusions and recommendations of the
report. A response from the Greek authorities is currently awaited. The Commission will continue to
monitor the situation in the game and rabbit meat sectors in Greece to confirm that the standards laid
down in Community legislation are being met.

(2) OJ L 378, 31.12.1982.

(2003/C 92 E/273) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2815/02

by Miquel Mayol i Raynal (Verts/ALE) to the Commission
(7 October 2002)

Subject: European Food Safety Authority

At the Laeken European Council meeting in December 2001, it was decided that the European Food Safety
Authority (EFSA) would start its work in Brussels. Brussels would be the EFSA’s temporary seat as it had
proved impossible to reach a political compromise on its permanent seat. Barcelona was one of the
candidates for the seat.

According to an article in the weekly newspaper European Voice (16-22 May 2002), Spain has dropped its
application for Barcelona to be the EFSA seat.

Has the Commission been informed of this?

If so, what reasons did the Spanish authorities give for dropping their application?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(6 November 2002)

The Commission can confirm that, in line with the decision of the Council summit of Laeken, it has taken
the necessary measures to allow the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to begin operations in Brussels
on a temporary basis.

The Commission has received no communication from the Spanish authorities renouncing the candidature
of Barcelona as a seat for the Authority.

(2003/C 92 E/274) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2831/02

by Robert Goebbels (PSE) to the Commission
(9 October 2002)

Subject: International trade and rules on the availability of balance sheets

Member State legislation varies greatly with regard to the publication of company balance sheets. Generally
speaking, public limited companies are required to publish their annual accounts, but small and medium
sized enterprises are often granted exemptions, and it is also possible for simplified accounts to be
published. The situation is the same at international level, where very few countries require the accounts of
companies registered within their borders to be published in full. In general, this requirement only applies
to listed companies.