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C 110 E/202 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.


improvement. The Commission notes that the structural indicators used to monitor the implementation of
the Lisbon process include two productivity measures  one for productivity per head and one for
productivity per hour worked.

2. The Commission believes that it is important to look at both productivity per head and productivity
per hour worked when comparing productivity between countries. That is why the structural indicators
include both measures. It is true that on a per hour basis the productivity differences between the
Community and the United States are smaller. There are however some recognised quality problems with
the available data on hours worked, and the Commission is currently working with Member States to
improve the timeliness and comparability of this data.

3. The figures for growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the United States have been revised.
The latest figures for the United States are 0,3 % growth for GDP in 2001 and a fall of 0,9 % for net
domestic product (NDP). On latest estimates of the 15 Member States’ (EU 15) NDP grew by 1,2 % in real
terms between 2000 and 2001. The Commission notes that the choice between use of GDP or NDP to
measure growth depends on the concept that one is seeking to measure, and on the quality of figures for
‘consumption of fixed capital’ (which represents the difference between GDP and NDP). Given that
consumption of fixed capital is usually measured by use of a model based on simplifying assumptions, the
Commission believes that the GDP measure is likely to be more reliable.

4. Data for Net Domestic Product per hour worked are presented below. The data are at current prices
based on purchasing power parities (PPP). The data show that using an NDP-based indicator of
productivity produces a wider gap between Community and United States productivity levels in the years
presented than the more traditional indicator based on GDP.

Net Domestic Product per hour worked

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001

United States 25,6 27,2 27,5 29,0 29,5

EU15 24,6 25,5 26,5 27,8 28,6
Ratio US/EU 104,2 106,7 103,8 104,4 103,4
Memo: GDP-based ratio 102,5 105,2 102,5 103,1 102,7

5. The Commission needs more precise details of which studies the Honourable Member refers to.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development produces many studies in this field.

(2003/C 110 E/224) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3313/02

by Glenys Kinnock (PSE) to the Commission

(22 November 2002)

Subject: Safety of off-piste skiing

Does the Commission intend to take action to ensure that there are safety measures in place for those
wanting to participate in off-piste skiing?

Is there any likelihood that measures will be taken to address this matter?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(4 December 2002)

The Commission wishes to refer the Honourable Member to its answer to written question E-1026/01 by
Mr Maccormick (1). As stated in this answer the Commission does not intend to take specific sectorial
action related to the safety of off-piste skiing.
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/203

In its forthcoming Report to the Parliament and the Council on the safety of consumer services, the
Commission will assess the needs and possibilities for Community action addressing the safety of services.
In this context, it is likely that tourism as well as sports and leisure activities will receive particular
attention given the potential risks involved in some of these activities, such as off-piste skiing. However, it
seems that the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality would prevent the
Community from imposing legally binding obligations upon Member States for the organisation of off-
piste skiing.

(1) OJ C 147 E, 20.6.2002.

(2003/C 110 E/225) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3321/02

by Mikko Pesälä (ELDR) to the Commission

(19 November 2002)

Subject: Proposed end to intervention for rye

The Commission’s draft interim report proposes a complete end to market intervention in rye. Rye is used
for fodder in several countries, but for others it has a much wider significance. In Finland, for example, rye
with its high fibre content and positive effect on health has been a fundamental ingredient of dietary foods
such as rye bread and rye porridge. Finns obtain 40 % of their total dietary fibre requirement from rye, and
the situation is almost the same in the other Nordic countries.

How does the Commission propose to take account in its interim report of the fact that in some countries
rye is of considerable importance to health policy, and that without continued intervention in rye used as a
particularly high-quality foodstuff, it would not be possible to produce it in future?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(10 December 2002)

The market in rye shows a structural imbalance between the current volume of production and outlets on
the internal market.

In addition, sales on the world market require a disproportionate refund rate and demand is limited. In this
situation accumulation of intervention stocks is inevitable.

The amount of rye used in the Community is estimated at 4 million tonnes, of which 1,5 million goes for
human consumption.

In proposing that intervention be ended the Commission wishes to align production on the capacity of
internal outlets, including human consumption.

Intervention is merely a safety net. Stopping it will affect only the surplus of production over outlets.

(2003/C 110 E/226) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3330/02

by Ioannis Marínos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 November 2002)

Subject: Taxation of pleasure boats in Greece

According to a report in ‘Agence Europe’ (bulletin of 24 July 2002), the Commission has decided to bring
proceedings against Greece in the Court of Justice for imposing a special tax on private pleasure boats