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16.5.

2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 115 E/127

Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission

(31 October 2001)

The Commission wants to ensure that citizens have fast, easy access to the information they need. Europe
Direct is one means of ensuring a dialogue with people, listening to their questions and replying to their
concerns. It handles enquiries in all 11 official languages of the Union. Naturally, it should be expanded to
the candidate countries, as soon as they become Member States.

The Europe Direct service is located on the Union’s portal website Europa which is the internet gateway to
all Union institutions. Many citizens in the Union, however, still prefer to use the telephone to ask
questions in their own language. Europe Direct, therefore, enables them to ask questions by phone using a
toll free number in each Member State. It also enables people to ask questions and receive responses by e-
mail.

The Europe Direct service was launched in June 1998 precisely in order to give a user-friendly direct
access to information and advice about the Union.

Europe Direct could have been developed as an in-house operation, however, the Commission decided to
outsource the service. Following the usual public procurement requirements, a tender was granted and the
service is now operated under a contract to the company Global One, a member of the France Telecom
Group.

The Commission is currently conducting a review of Europe Direct to ensure that it provides an efficient
and value-for-money service.

The service is structured in such a way that it operated on two levels. The call centre agents have been
trained to reply to general questions on the Union and a back-up team inside the Commission takes care
of questions requiring additional research.

Questions concerning practical problems that people encounter in exercising their rights in the single
market used to be transferred to the Sign Post Service 0 a specialised service that could be accessed
through either Europe Direct or via e-mail. The Commission plans to resume this Citizen’s Signpost
Service in the first half of 2002. It will deal with enquiries from Union citizens and others who enjoy
Internal Market rights.

A further service is provided for people who require legal assistance on points of Community law. This
service is called Eurojus and it is managed decentrally by the Commission representations in the Member
States. Following a thorough review of its operations, taking into account both quality and effectiveness, a
decision has recently been taken to continue the Eurojus service. The service is in the process of being
modernised and reoriented to ensure that it meets the changing needs of citizens.

As new Member States join the Union the scope of the above services will, of course, be extended.

(2002/C 115 E/130) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2587/01


by Juan Naranjo Escobar (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(25 September 2001)

Subject: European information campaign on the European Code against Cancer

In this day and age individuals are taking increasingly active responsibility for their health but in order to
do so they need information. Prevention and education are vital to enable diseases to be diagnosed early,
but this cannot happen unless people know that the means are available. The European Code against
Cancer adopted in 1988, for example, consists of 10 recommendations which, if observed, could reduce
the incidence of the disease by 15 %, equivalent to thousands of human lives. A recent survey showed that
out of a group of 600 people, only 9 % knew about the code and what was in it.
C 115 E/128 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 16.5.2002

Does the Commission believe that in its European cancer prevention and education campaign, it should
endeavour to bring such useful aids as the code to wider public notice, thereby helping to disseminate its
10 recommendations that could save so many human lives?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(12 November 2001)

The Honourable Member supports the Commission’s longstanding efforts to prevent cancer through
information to the European citizen, known as the 10 commandments of the European Code against
Cancer. Over the years, since its first publication in 1988, the European Code against Cancer has been
widely promoted and disseminated by almost every Member State organisation involved in the fight
against cancer.

For the prevention of cancer the source of the code is less important. It is however important that the
preventive measures of the code are playing an active role in the life of European citizens. The European
Code against Cancer is an important element of the overall strategy of the Community’s action plans
against cancer. In the area of health promotion for the European citizen through public information, the
Community also supports two networks aiming at the reduction of smoking.

After a two year extension, in 2002, the third action plan to fight cancer will finally come to an end. Then
the Commission will report to Parliament and Council on the outcome of all actions supported under the
plan. It is envisaged that the 10 commandments of the European code will receive special attention
regarding their public perception as well as their impact.

(2002/C 115 E/131) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2588/01


by Laura González Álvarez (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(25 September 2001)

Subject: Filling work at the Ría de Vigo (Galicia, Spain)

The citizens’ action group for the defence of the Rande narrows and the San Simón creek in the Ría de
Vigo has been protesting against the plan to fill in 300 000 m2 on the shore of the inlet with a view to
setting up a whole range of industrial facilities.

If it were to be implemented, this project would destroy the fauna, flora, and the abundant fish and
shellfish stocks and landscape resources, and consequently ruin the future prospect of genuine sustainable
development.

Does the Commission not consider that the following directives could be infringed:

0 Directive 85/337/EEC on environmental impact assessment (1);

0 Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (2);

0 Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (3);

0 Directive 90/313/EEC on the freedom of access to information on the environment (4)?

Can the Commission ascertain that the above directives will be enforced correctly?

Can it confirm whether European funds have been granted for this project?

(1) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40.


(2) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.
(4) OJ L 158, 23.6.1990, p. 56.