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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
C 110 E/192 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

conducted at the expense of basic Human Rights. In addition, the Union urged the Russian side to
promote without delay a political solution that provides a framework for lasting peace, stability and
reconstruction in Chechnya.

The Union will continue to monitor developments on the ground in Chechnya. Furthermore, the Union
will continue to raise its concerns on this issue as appropriate in its bilateral political dialogue with the
Russian Federation. In parallel, the Union will continue to participate actively in discussions and initiatives
on Chechnya within the framework of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and
Cooperation in Europe. In parallel, the Commission has so far allocated almost EUR 90 million since 1999
for humanitarian aid to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in the North Caucasus and has
continually pressed the Russian authorities to put in place the necessary conditions for this aid to be
provided to all who need it safely and effectively.

(2003/C 110 E/212) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3245/02


by Antonio Di Pietro (ELDR) to the Commission

(11 November 2002)

Subject: Natural disaster (earthquake) in Molise

On 31 October 2002, the Molise region was struck by a violent earthquake measuring eight on the
Mercalli scale, the epicentre of which was in the area north-east of Campobasso, and more precisely in the
municipalities of Larino, Bonefro, Casacaldenda and San Giuliano di Puglia.

Twenty-nine people died as a result of the earthquake, and hundreds were injured. In dozens of
municipalities there was serious damage to homes, other buildings and public facilities, meaning that
around 8,500 people had to be evacuated.

In the days following the earthquake, there were further tremors which prolonged the state of emergency
in the villages worst hit, and the emergency services rushed to put up tent villages to house the families
who had suddenly found themselves homeless.

In view of the strong seismic activity in the area and the approach of winter, which is particularly harsh in
the mountain villages of Molise, where the temperature is already falling, will the Commission take
concrete action of the kind guaranteed to help economic and productive activity in the region?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(3 December 2002)

The Honourable Member is informed that Molise is classed as an Objective I (transitional support) region
for the period 2000-2006.

It is therefore covered by an Operational Programme to encourage sustainable economic development,


total budget EUR 605 000 000, with the Community contributing EUR 115 000 000.

Under the decentralised management principle Italy, in partnership with the Commission, chose the
projects to be implemented in pursuit of the programme targets. If the latter need to be modified following
the disaster the Commission is ready to examine, in partnership with the national and regional authorities,
all proposals for their achievement.