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17.4.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 92 E/217

Everything suggests at present that these deficiencies also exist in the EU Member States. Experts now
consider that there is a real risk of terrorists using biological weapons, whence the importance of measures
to protect the civilian population, particularly in Europe’s large cities.

According to the report by George Gouvras, the head of the Task Force set up by the Commission
following the attacks of 11 September, which was published last week, most of the EU Member States
have neither vaccines nor appropriate strategies to respond to mass bioterrorist attacks using diseases such
as smallpox.

Does the Commission take the view that adequate protection is provided for the civilian population in the
European Union?

Do civil defence plans exist in the European Union and, if so, can the Commission give details of their
content?

Does the Commission not consider that efforts should be stepped up in this area in the light of the events
of 11 September?

Could the European Union not envisage drawing up a set of binding minimum civil defence requirements,
particularly for Europe’s large cities?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission


(12 November 2002)

As stated in Commission communication on ‘Civil protection  State of preventive alert against possible
emergencies’ (1), governments at all levels have been prompted to re-consider how ready and able they are
to prevent or mitigate the impact of these threats to our society in the aftermath of the unprecedented and
tragic terrorist attacks in the United States of America (USA). The communication made a clear case for
the need to improve Europe’s capacity to respond to emergencies arising from biological or chemical
terrorist attacks. It also set out the actions that the Commission intended to undertake across the range of
Community policies to respond to the European Council’s call at Ghent on 19 October 2001, addressed to
the Council and the Commission, to prepare a programme to improve the co-operation between Member
States in this area.

The Member States and the Commission have been working since to enhance preparedness and response
to the new type of threat that constituted the bioterrorist attacks in the USA. In addition to national
measures, measures at Union level and joint actions between the Commission and the Member States have
been undertaken to improve the capacity and ability to deal with deliberate releases of biological, chemical
and radio-nuclear substances to cause harm. Progress with this work and on-going activities have been
presented in Commission communication on ‘Civil protection  Progress made in implementing the
programme for preparedness for possible emergencies’ (2). The testing of emergency plans forms part of
these activities.

In order to identify what initiatives are currently in place and those that may additionally be needed for the
protection of the Union population against the consequences of terrorist biological, chemical and radio-
nuclear threats and attacks, the Council and Commission are now working to prepare a joint programme
which will be submitted to the forthcoming European Council in Copenhagen in December 2002.

(1) COM(2001) 707 final.


(2) COM(2002) 302 final.

(2003/C 92 E/277) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2897/02


by Margrietus van den Berg (PSE) to the Commission
(14 October 2002)

Subject: Agreement of international rules concerning top-class sport

The world of European football is in crisis. The Italian competition has been postponed because of serious
financial problems and disputes between clubs and television stations concerning broadcasting rights.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo has departed to Real Madrid for the astronomical sum of EUR 50 million. Many
C 92 E/218 Official Journal of the European Union EN 17.4.2003

European clubs cannot compete in this rat race or are incurring huge debts. When expenditure has to be
cut, it is training that suffers, especially injections of revenue into regional clubs for the purpose of broad
sports training.

The Treaty recognises sport as having a social function. If football is a matter of public concern and not
merely a commodity to be exploited for profit, clubs’ managements should show this in everything they
say and also encourage the same attitude among their supporters. This social function is in serious danger,
as clubs trump one another Europe-wide with unbelievable TV contracts and ridiculously large transfer
fees. As a result, the interests of football spectators and supporters take a back seat and the social objective
is rendered inoperative.

Is it not high time that the Commission convened a meeting of clubs, players’ associations, sports
authorities and national and international umbrella bodies from all over Europe to discuss a number of
minimum rules?

Will the Commission take this initiative and agree the following rules:

1. The transfer fees and total wage bill for players paid by a professional football organisation should be
regulated by means of a European salary cap.

2. No sport should be broadcast in an encoded format.

3. Part of each transfer fee should be passed on to regional clubs for the purpose of broad sports
training.

4. There should not be any ‘slave trade’ in young players from Latin America or Africa, for example; this
should be enforced by means of direct and active monitoring by UEFA.

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(27 November 2002)

The Honourable Member would like the Commission to take a variety of steps to bring about the
introduction of minimum rules in the world of top-level competitive sport with a view to ensuring greater
solidarity and thus preserving the social dimension of sport.

The Commission would point out that it can take action only in areas which fall within its remit. It has
been very active with respect to cases where rules relating to sport have run counter to Community law,
particularly as regards competition. The rules on the transfer of players, for example, have been thoroughly
revised in light of complaints received by the Commission and the resulting investigations. It has since
been decided that some of the profits generated from transfers should be returned to the training clubs in a
‘trickle-down’ arrangement.

The Commission nevertheless has an obligation to act as guardian of the EC Treaty and must not encroach
on responsibilities which are not its own. It is particularly concerned about respecting the autonomy of the
sports movement and the prerogatives of the Member States. As this matter does not concern any rules of
Community law, the Commission is not entitled to take action to regulate players’ transfer fees or salaries,
ban decoders or place sports federations under an obligation to redistribute funds among regional clubs.

As regards relations between sport and television (particularly the broadcasting of sports events on pay-TV
channels), it should be borne in mind, however, that the ‘Television without frontiers’ Directive (1)
authorises the Member States to take measures to protect public access to events of major importance for
society in such a way that a substantial proportion of the public is not deprived of the possibility of
following these events via live or deferred coverage on free television. This provision is set out in Article 3a
of Directive 89/552/EEC, which was added when the Directive was amended in 1997 (2). It is designed to
enable Member States to take measures  whose mutual recognition within the Community is guaranteed
by the Directive  to ensure the widest possible access to television broadcasting of national and non-
national events, such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup.
17.4.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 92 E/219

The Commission would also point out that, in the Helsinki Report on Sport (3), it showed its commitment
to a vision of sport which respects the principle of solidarity, the ethics of sport, the social role of sport
and the protection of young sportsmen and women. The question of protecting young sportsmen and
women was also addressed in the Declaration ‘on the specific characteristics of sport and its social function
in Europe, of which account should be taken in implementing common policies’, which was adopted at
the European Council in Nice (4). The Declaration deals with the way in which the solidarity principle can
be guaranteed and with the need for sports organisations and the Member States to take appropriate steps
to put a stop to commercial transactions targeting minors in sport from non-Community countries.

The concerns expressed by the Honourable Member have been echoed by some Member States and sports
organisations, which have occasionally launched initiatives to compensate for certain imbalances. The
Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), for example, has announced its intention to adopt a
number of measures to ensure greater solidarity among the clubs taking part in European competitions.

The Commission can only encourage such initiatives to be adopted, while ensuring that they are
compatible with Community law. In this context, the Commission takes account of the social and
educational dimension of sport, as advocated in the Nice Declaration.

(1) Council Directive 89/552/EEC of 3 October 1989 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by Law,
Regulation or Administrative Action in Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities,
OJ L 298, 17.10.1989.
(2) Directive 97/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 1997 amending Council Directive
89/552/EEC on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in
Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities, OJ L 202, 30.7.1997.
(3) Report from the Commission to the European Council with a view to safeguarding current sports structures and
maintaining the social function of sport within the Community framework  The Helsinki Report on Sport 
COM(1999) 644 final.
(4) European Council in Nice  7, 8 and 9 December 2000  Annex IV to the conclusions of the Presidency:
‘Declaration on the specific characteristics of sport and its social function in Europe, of which account should be
taken in implementing common policies’.

(2003/C 92 E/278) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2925/02


by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(9 October 2002)

Subject: Effectiveness of training programmes in Greece

According to information in the report from the European Commission’s Enterprise Directorate-General
entitled ‘Benchmarking Enterprise Policy Results from the 2001 Scoreboard’, only 1 % of the population
aged between 15 and 64 in Greece has participated in training and education programmes. In contrast,
other Member States have much higher rates, approaching 20 %. This is despite the fact that for the 1994-
1999 period, the budget for credits in Greece, through the second CSF, from the operating programmes
‘Life-Long Learning and Employment Promotion’, ‘Combating Exclusion from the Labour Market’ and
‘Education and Initial Training’ amounted to EUR 3 411 million.

Why do we in Greece have this disastrous shortfall in the numbers of people trained despite generous
Community funding, and what steps has the Commission taken to ensure that better use is made of
Community aid?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(8 November 2002)

In the Enterprise DG’s report entitled ‘Benchmarking Enterprise Policy Results from the 2001 Scoreboard’,
to which the Honourable Member refers, the section on human resources shows the percentage of the
population in the 25 to 64 age-group which participated in training measures in all the EU Member States.
Training aimed at this age-group is mainly concerned with lifelong learning. This policy has only recently