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C 110 E/222 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.


By making it compulsory to display the unit price the European legislator sought to enable the consumer
to make a quick and simple comparison of prices for each product. However, this requirement involves an
excessive administrative effort for small retail stores, at any rate for those with sales areas under 400 m2,
and will have a proportionately much more serious effect on them than on larger retailers.

It is also not of much real advantage to the consumer, for two reasons. Firstly, the opportunities for
comparison in small retail shops are very limited in view of the narrow range of goods which a small shop
necessarily has on offer. Secondly, the most important factor for the consumer in deciding to patronise
this kind of shop is their proximity, rather than the price of the products sold.

When does the Commission propose to submit its evaluation report to the European Parliament?

Does the Commission consider that small retail stores should in future be completely exempted from the
obligation to show the unit price? Does not the Commission think that the imposition of this kind of
requirement on the whole of the retail trade would be incompatible with earlier commitments to stimulate
business in the EU and reduce administrative burdens?

(1) OJ L 80, 18.3.1998, p. 27.

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(9 January 2003)

The Commission understands the Honourable Member’s view that it would not be wise to charge small
retail stores with unnecessary costs, although the price indication is an important element for consumer

The Commission is currently gathering information in order to prepare the report under article 12 of the
Directive 98/6/EC. In this context, the report will indeed examine the issue as to whether the obligation to
indicate the unit price constitutes a serious burden for certain small retail businesses. It is not possible, at
this stage, to anticipate the conclusions of the report, which, once finalised, will be submitted to the
Parliament and the Council.

(2003/C 110 E/248) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3775/02

by António Campos (PSE) to the Commission

(17 December 2002)

Subject: Common agricultural policy

On 11 October 1999, in my Written Question E-1766/99 (1), I asked the Commission for information
concerning the EAGGF Guarantee Section. The Commission’s reply of 16 December 1999 failed to supply
some of the information requested.

In order to be able to perform my duties as an MEP I require the following information to be made
available to me:

 the total amount of money spent each year by the EAGGF Guarantee Section on the 100 largest
beneficiaries in each Member State;

 the percentage of total EAGGF Guarantee Section spending received by each Member State and
assigned to those 100 largest beneficiaries.

(1) OJ C 303 E, 24.10.2000, p. 14.

8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/223

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(17 January 2003)
The Commission is collecting the information it needs to answer the question. It will communicate its
findings as soon as possible.

(2003/C 110 E/249) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3850/02

by Françoise Grossetête (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(23 December 2002)
Subject: European charter for children in hospital

There are currently considerable differences in the treatment of children from one hospital to another. For
instance, children are often admitted to adult wards, parents are often unable to stay at night, and the
hospital environment may not be commensurate with the physical and educational needs of children.
The general hospital environment is known to be a very important factor in recovery with children. In
1986, accordingly, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for discussions on drafting a
European charter for children in hospital (1).

To date, there has been no official Community proposal. Will the Commission seek, then, to submit a
proposal on this question within a reasonable period?

(1) OJ C 148, 16.6.1986, p. 37.

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(23 January 2003)

The treatment of children in hospital is a subject related to the organisation and delivery of health services
and medical care which are matters for the Member States. The Commission therefore does not intend to
make any proposals in relation to a charter for children in hospital.