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8.5.2003

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Official Journal of the European Union

C 110 E/189

collaboration by all the actors of the sector: national and local public administrations, mostly, but also the industry and the representatives of the other stakeholders, such as consumers. This Commission communication defines the needed actions and the appropriate level at which to implement them.

( 1 ) COM(2002) 511 final.

(2003/C 110 E/208)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3241/02

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(15 November 2002)

Subject: Drama schools and training programmes under the European Social Fund

There is a demand from young people in Greece for training programmes in the dramatic arts. In the light of such demand and in order to create greater awareness of the training programmes available, can the Commission confirm whether such programmes are already running or will do so under the Third CSF for Greece? If so, can the Commission explain who is eligible to take part in the training programmes? What are their financial obligations, if any, towards the drama schools? In particular, which drama schools have undertaken to carry out the relevant programmes in Greece?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(6 January 2003)

The Commission can inform the Honourable Member that up to now no European Social Fund (ESF) co- financing of drama schools has taken place under the 3rd Community Support Framework for Greece.

Following the modernisation of vocational training in Greece, a labour market study is always necessary before including a particular sector in the calls for tender of the cofinanced training actions.

If a future study reveals that there is a labour market need in the field of dramatic arts, it may be decided to finance training actions under one of the Operational Programmes.

(2003/C 110 E/209)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3242/02

by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(15 November 2002)

Subject: Level of EU appropriations for the funding of programmes for Roma in Greece

On 4 March 2002, the Greek government announced an ‘Integrated action programme for the social integration of Greek gypsies’ with a budget of EUR 373,5 million for the period 2005-2008, which makes provision for measures in respect of housing, education, employment and social welfare for Roma and others. According to government announcements, the necessary resources will come from the Third CSF (approximately EUR 206 million) and national sources (EUR 166 million). The Greek branch of Helsinki Watch has complained that, at the beginning of June 2002, during a visit to Greece by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Alvaro Gil Robles, the programme appeared to have a budget of only EUR 308 million.

In the light of the above, can the Commission state the actual overall level of appropriations allocated under the Second and Third CSF in Greece to programmes relating to Roma?

C 110 E/190

Official Journal of the European Union

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EN

8.5.2003

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(18 December 2002)

The action programme for the social integration of the Greek gypsies is a national programme financed mainly by national resources. The Structural Funds may participate only for the part that is eligible for financing under the Structural Funds regulations.

In the framework of the Operational Programme ‘Combating Exclusion from the Labour Market’ under the Community Structural Funds (CSF) 1994-1999 for Greece, a number of integrated projects and actions were implemented in support of the socio-economic integration of the Greek gypsies.

The European Social Funds (ESF) actions financed related to counselling, vocational orientation, vocational training and employment promotion, combined with the provision of accompanying services to facilitate their social and economic integration. The total cost of the actions implemented was approximately EUR 4,2 million.

In the framework of the Operational Programme ‘Employment and Vocational Training’ under the CSF 2000-2006 for Greece, the national authorities have programmed the financing of targeted integrated interventions for the benefit of the Greek gypsies. The interventions aim at ensuring equal opportunities for the gypsies in accessing the labour market and providing the necessary conditions for their social integration.

The total cost of the above-mentioned interventions is estimated to be EUR 11,7 million. Approximately 1700 persons will benefit from the counselling, training and employment opportunities, together with the accompanying measures foreseen. A call for tenders is expected to be launched in the beginning of 2003.

However, in the framework of the third CSF the Greek gypsies can also benefit from other ESF financed integrated actions designed particularly to promote equal access to the labour market for all and especially for persons at risk of social exclusion.

(2003/C 110 E/210)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3243/02

by Brice Hortefeux (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(15 November 2002)

Subject: Action to prevent osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious illness and is insidious in that it can go undetected for a long time. In Western women over the age of 50, the risk of an osteoporotic fracture is approximately 40 % and women are just as likely to die as a result of such fractures as from breast cancer. Furthermore, the increase in life expectancy will result in a growing number of hip fractures, which the WH0 estimates are likely to double from 414 000 to 912 000 in the EU over the next 50 years.

We are therefore confronted with a lasting public health problem. It is easy to imagine the financial burden that this disease could represent. As an example, the average cost of a fracture of the femur is estimated at EUR 11 000 for long-stay treatment.

In 1998, at the request of the European Parliament, the Commission carried a study and published a ‘Report on osteoporosis in the EU Action for prevention’. Three years later, the audit carried out by the International Osteoporosis Foundation reveals that little progress has been made by the Member States since the Commission’s report, and the situation is now worse. Since 1998, the number of osteoporotic fractures in Europe has increased by 25 % and the cost of the disease has risen by 33 % to approximately EUR 4,8 billion every year in Europe.

Although the Commission cannot intervene directly in the health sphere because of the principle of subsidiarity, is it preparing other initiatives or programmes to prevent osteoporosis and if so, what might they cover?