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C 53 E/126 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 20.2.

2001

The pharmaceuticals rules relating to pharmacovigilance require any undesirable effects linked to medicinal
products to be notified to the competent authorities.

The Commission has no jurisdiction in respect of medicinal products authorised by the national
authorities, except in the cases indicated by Council Directive 75/319/EEC of 20 May 1975 on the
approximation of provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action relating to proprietary
medicinal products (1) in which a referral procedure leads to evaluation and an opinion from the scientific
committee of the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products and a decision by the
Commission.

To date, no referrals have been made to the Agency concerning Omnipaque. However, the Agency will be
informed of the Honourable Member’s question.

(1) OJ L 147, 9.6.1975.

(2001/C 53 E/160) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1320/00


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(27 April 2000)

Subject: European school milk scheme

The Commission is proposing to radically change the school milk scheme. At the moment, the disposal of
milk in schools is fully subsidised by the European Union. In future this financing would be halved. The
other half of the financing would then have to come from the Member States, but they would be allowed
to pass on the costs to milk producers and/or the dairy industry. These sweeping proposals are
encountering a great deal of opposition, due in part to the negative consequences for milk consumption.

1. What are the grounds for the Commission’s proposals to halve aid for the school milk scheme?

2. Has the Commission carried out a detailed study of the impact of its proposal on milk consumption
in schools?

(a) If not, why is that the case, and does the Commission intend to carry out a study in view of the 
probable  negative impact on milk consumption?

(b) If so, what are the anticipated effects, and what conclusions does the Commission draw from the
results of this research?

3. Does the Commission not consider it more advisable to continue to fully subsidise the school milk
scheme in view of the health benefits of milk?

(a) If not, why is the Commission sticking to its proposal to halve aid in spite of the health benefits of
milk?

(b) If so, will the school milk scheme be financed on a long-term basis by the European Union?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(7 June 2000)

1. Under the Commission’s proposal of 10 December 1999 (1) for a Council Regulation amending
Regulation (EEC) No 1255/1999 on the common organisation of the market in milk and milk products,
the reduction in Community aid would be more than offset by a compulsory national contribution. This
would mean that the total aid granted would rise from 95 % to 100 % of the milk target price. For the
arguments in support of this proposal, the Honourable Member is referred to the explanatory memor-
andum accompanying it.
20.2.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 53 E/127

2. The basis for the proposal includes an assessment study made by external consultants that can be
accessed on the Commission’s Internet site. Its conclusions were that the aid and its amount had only a
limited impact on availability of milk products in schools and the level of consumption in general.

3. The Commission freely acknowledges that distribution of milk in schools can help achieve nutritional
and social objectives. That is in fact why it considers that the aid should not fall exclusively to the
European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund but be split between it and the Member States. The
Commission’s proposal confirms the Community’s financial commitment to the school milk scheme.

(1) OJ C 89, 28.3.2000.

(2001/C 53 E/161) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1322/00


by Bertel Haarder (ELDR) to the Commission
(17 April 2000)

Subject: Failure to pay grants promised to B’Tselem

In April 1998, the Commission decided to support a project devised by B’Tselem (The Israeli Information
Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) entitled ‘Generating Commitment for Human Rights’
(project number 98mas15 B7-7050 in the MEDA democracy programme). In 1999, B’Tselem was granted
a further amount in its capacity as participant in a project with four other Israeli human rights
organisations (project number 1998/281A B7-7050 in the MEDA democracy programme). In response
to several MEPs’ questions concerning B’Tselem’s 1998 grant, Commissioner Manuel Marín replied that the
contract for the amount would be formally drawn up in early 1999. To date, no contract has been
forwarded for either of the two projects.

Will the Commission say when B’Tselem will receive the promised contracts in respect of the grants for
their two projects?

Will the Commission say why the grants have not yet been paid?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission


(22 May 2000)

All 1998 MEDA-Democracy contracts, around 40 projects, including that with B’Tselem, have now been
signed by the Commission and sent to the respective beneficiaries for counter-signature. In spite of their
infortunate delay, these projects including that with B’Tselem will mostly go ahead as planned.

The 1999 MEDA-Democracy grant to four Israeli non-governmental organizations including B’Tselem, was
approved by the human rights management committee in October 1999. The contract will be signed by
the Commission and sent to the beneficiary as soon as possible.

Finally, counter-signature by the beneficiary will mark the start of the project and the disbursement of the
allocated funds in compliance with all contractual conditions.

(2001/C 53 E/162) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1332/00


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission
(27 April 2000)

Subject: Financial aid for sarcoidosis projects

Late last year a number of sarcoidosis patients created a website to provide information about their illness.
The many contacts soon showed that there is a great need not only for information, but also for an
umbrella organisation (a foundation) to represent the interests of patients. This is because many people