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C 137 E/10 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.

2003

Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(3 July 2002)

Drugs do indeed constitute a major threat to stability, democracy and economic and social development in
the Caribbean. It should be noted, however, that though cocaine traffic accounts for 85 per cent of all
income generated by drug trafficking and related activities in the region, locally produced marijuana
accounts for the remaining 15 per cent and is a key factor inducing local consumption. Jamaica is one of
the world’s major producers of marijuana, other significant producers including Trinidad and Tobago,
St Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, St. Lucia and Dominica.

Growing levels of drug production, trafficking and use in the region have contributed to higher levels of
violent crime by both drug organisations and addicts. In addition, increasing inflows of illegal firearms into
the region are associated with the drug trade. Money laundering and drug related corruption has escalated
in the region and drug trafficking has serious implications for public expenditure, since public funds have
to be diverted from productive activities towards fighting drug related activities.

Conscious of this, the Commission has been giving priority to supporting drug control in the Caribbean
region. The Community was the main financing contributor to the 1996-2002 Barbados Plan of Action
(EUR 20 million, representing 60 % of the total financing), covering a varied range of areas within a
balanced and integrated approach encompassing supply and demand reduction: regional co-ordination
mechanisms, maritime co-operation, law enforcement, anti-money laundering, forensic services, control of
precursors, epidemiological surveillance and various other fields in demand reduction. Financing resources
originated in the 8th European Development Fund (EDF) National and Regional programmes and in
‘Budget Line B7-6310: North-South co-operation in the fight against drugs’. It can be anticipated that the
9th EDF Caribbean regional programme will give appropriate focus to drug control, in support of the
development and implementation of a Caribbean rooted strategy. Areas of support will include
institutional strengthening and capacity building, regional co-ordination in supply reduction including
maritime co-operation, demand reduction and inter-regional co-operation.

A more effective approach to drugs control in the Caribbean needs to be framed in the scope of the drugs
route (cocaine route), involving therefore the enhancement of co-ordination and co-operation of Caribbean
transit countries with Latin American producing countries. This is now being progressively adopted by the
Caribbean in their anti-drugs strategy and, as mentioned above, is expected to be one of the elements of
support by the Community in its 9th EDF support strategy. Inter-regional collaboration can be facilitated
by existing mechanisms for international co-ordination and co-operation, among which is included the
‘Co-ordination and Co-operation Mechanism on Drugs between the European Union, Latin America and
the Caribbean’ launched in 1998 within the Panama Plan of Action.

(2003/C 137 E/011) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1513/02

by Cristiana Muscardini (UEN) to the Commission

(29 May 2002)

Subject: Decline in life expectancy caused by AIDS

Reports have recently appeared in the Italian weekly press containing alarming statistics on the decline in
life expectancy in the countries most affected by the HIV virus. Of the 25 countries with the highest
incidence of infection, 24 are in Africa, and in seven of these over 20 % of the population is HIV-positive.
Unless drastic action is taken, as many as a quarter of Africa’s inhabitants could die of AIDS.
12.6.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/11

Can the Commission state what cooperation activities exist with  to name only a few of the African
countries most affected by AIDS  South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Malawi,
aimed at fighting the spread of the virus?

Can it state what forms of Community aid exist for those countries and explain the situation as regards
their actual utilisation?

Does the Commission not consider that, taking into account the high levels of migration from the
countries named to Europe, the EU must take all necessary steps to control the spread of the virus in our
own continent, in which it is already a serious problem?

Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(10 July 2002)

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) prevention and care has, since the beginning of the
epidemic, been a major priority in Community development policies and programmes. In February 2002,
the Commission adopted the accelerated action targeted on human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS,
malaria and tuberculosis (TB) in the context of poverty reduction which aims to tackle the very complex
AIDS-related issues for the populations most affected.

The Commission’s support for AIDS prevention and care is provided by many instruments including
geographical and thematic budget lines, as well as through co-financing of the non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) and international initiatives such as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and
malaria. The Commission is currently implementing AIDS prevention and care projects in all the
mentioned countries, adding up to a total allocation of EUR 232,5 million (a table is sent direct to the
Honourable Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat).

The Programme of Community action on the ‘prevention of AIDS and certain other communicable
diseases’ has the global objective to help contain the spread of AIDS and reduce mortality and morbidity
due to communicable diseases by encouraging cooperation between Member States, promoting
cooperation between prevention policies and programmes and supporting the activities of non-
governmental organisations, including organisations for people affected by HIV.

One of the specific objectives of this programme is to combat discrimination. There is no evidence that
immigrants from the mentioned countries pose a special threat for the spread of the virus in Europe.
On the other hand, migrants, ethnic minorities and other mobile groups have specific needs with respect
to HIV/AIDS prevention and care. The needs of these populations, taking into account their cultural,
linguistic and socio-economic background, are addressed in the programme. For example, as care, support
and access to treatment are usually less available to migrants, due to both legal factors and communication
problems. The Commission funds projects such as the European project ‘AIDS and mobility’ to avoid
stigmatisation and address the specific prevention and care needs of migrants in Europe.

(2003/C 137 E/012) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1561/02


by Richard Corbett (PSE) to the Commission

(3 June 2002)

Subject: Relationship between the High Representative and the Commission

Does the Commission agree that the High Representative for CFSP should, at the next revision of the
Treaty, be integrated into the European Commission?

Will it consider, as a first step, inviting the High Representative to meetings of the Commission and to
working groups of Commissioners when external relations are being discussed?