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C 110 E/190 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.


Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(18 December 2002)

The action programme for the social integration of the Greek gypsies is a national programme financed
mainly by national resources. The Structural Funds may participate only for the part that is eligible for
financing under the Structural Funds regulations.

In the framework of the Operational Programme ‘Combating Exclusion from the Labour Market’ under the
Community Structural Funds (CSF) 1994-1999 for Greece, a number of integrated projects and actions
were implemented in support of the socio-economic integration of the Greek gypsies.

The European Social Funds (ESF) actions financed related to counselling, vocational orientation, vocational
training and employment promotion, combined with the provision of accompanying services to facilitate
their social and economic integration. The total cost of the actions implemented was approximately
EUR 4,2 million.

In the framework of the Operational Programme ‘Employment and Vocational Training’ under the CSF
2000-2006 for Greece, the national authorities have programmed the financing of targeted integrated
interventions for the benefit of the Greek gypsies. The interventions aim at ensuring equal opportunities
for the gypsies in accessing the labour market and providing the necessary conditions for their social

The total cost of the above-mentioned interventions is estimated to be EUR 11,7 million. Approximately
1700 persons will benefit from the counselling, training and employment opportunities, together with the
accompanying measures foreseen. A call for tenders is expected to be launched in the beginning of 2003.

However, in the framework of the third CSF the Greek gypsies can also benefit from other ESF financed
integrated actions designed particularly to promote equal access to the labour market for all and especially
for persons at risk of social exclusion.

(2003/C 110 E/210) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3243/02

by Brice Hortefeux (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(15 November 2002)

Subject: Action to prevent osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious illness and is insidious in that it can go undetected for a long time. In Western
women over the age of 50, the risk of an osteoporotic fracture is approximately 40 % and women are just
as likely to die as a result of such fractures as from breast cancer. Furthermore, the increase in life
expectancy will result in a growing number of hip fractures, which the WH0 estimates are likely to double
from 414 000 to 912 000 in the EU over the next 50 years.

We are therefore confronted with a lasting public health problem. It is easy to imagine the financial
burden that this disease could represent. As an example, the average cost of a fracture of the femur is
estimated at EUR 11 000 for long-stay treatment.

In 1998, at the request of the European Parliament, the Commission carried a study and published a
‘Report on osteoporosis in the EU  Action for prevention’. Three years later, the audit carried out by the
International Osteoporosis Foundation reveals that little progress has been made by the Member States
since the Commission’s report, and the situation is now worse. Since 1998, the number of osteoporotic
fractures in Europe has increased by 25 % and the cost of the disease has risen by 33 % to approximately
EUR 4,8 billion every year in Europe.

Although the Commission cannot intervene directly in the health sphere because of the principle of
subsidiarity, is it preparing other initiatives or programmes to prevent osteoporosis and if so, what might
they cover?
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/191

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(5 December 2002)

In 1998, the Commission published eight recommendations in the ‘Report on Osteoporosis in the
European Community  Action for prevention’.

Based on this report, the Commission is funding within the Work Programme 2002 a project to be
performed by the IOF (International Osteoporosis Foundation) to analyse how the recommendations of
this report have been acted upon in the Member States.

The aims of this project are to work with a consultation panel in order to move to the fulfilment of the
eight recommendations and to publish a practical cost-effective plan outlining the next policy steps in this
area. Additionally, the Commission intends to use the information generated by this project as the basis for
a Report.

(2003/C 110 E/211) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3244/02

by Harlem Désir (PSE) to the Commission
(11 November 2002)

Subject: Arrest of the Chechen government representative Akhmed Zakayev in Copenhagen

Following the arrest of Mr Akhmed Zakayev in Copenhagen on the night of 29-30 October 2002, can the
Commission provide information on the EU’s common foreign policy position concerning the settlement
of the Chechen conflict and relations with the representatives of the government of the elected President of
Chechnya, Mr Aslan Maskhadov?

Mr Maskhadov was democratically elected President of the Republic of Chechnya in January 1997, in
OCSE-supervised elections.

Mr Zakayev, the representative of the Chechen President and himself a former minister of culture, has dealt
on a regular basis with the Russian authorities, notably in the talks of August 2002 with Mr Ivan Rybkin,
the former President of Russia’s Security Council, and in those of November 2001 at Moscow’s
Sheremetyevo airport with Mr Viktor Kazantsev, a former commander of the federal forces in Chechnya
mandated by the Kremlin.

Attempts to criminalise legitimate elected representatives of the Chechen people in the wake of the attack
on the Melnikov Street theatre in Moscow, or to treat them as members of a terrorist group, will only
serve to delay the settlement of a conflict which has already, since 1994, claimed 200 000 dead or
disappeared, or 10 % of the Chechen population.

Will the Commission intervene with the Danish government to stop the extradition of Akhmed Zakayev to
Russia, a country which has not abolished the death penalty but merely suspended it until 2003?

Will the Commission clarify the nature of the Union’s policy and step up pressure on Russia to guarantee
the rights of the Chechen people, put an end to human rights violations, stop the massacre of the civilian
population, and reach a political settlement to a conflict which cannot be resolved by military means?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(2 December 2002)

Concerning the arrest of Mr Zakayev, the Commission cannot intervene in a legal issue which must be
dealt with solely by the relevant Danish authorities and in accordance with Danish law.

As regards the Union’s policy on the conflict in Chechnya, the Commission would like to confirm that the
well-established position of the Union on the matter was put forward in clear terms to President Putin at
the recent Union-Russia Summit in Brussels on 11 November 2002. While expressing its abhorrence of
terrorism in all its forms, the Union recalled in explicit terms that the fight against terrorism cannot be