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Official Journal of the European Union

C 268 E/193

As regards participation at the next meeting of the Bilderberg group, which is due to take place from 16 to 18 May 2003 in Versailles, three Commissioners have accepted the invitation that has been extended to them on account of their functions, although they will not be participating on behalf of the Commission. The three in question are Mr Monti, Mr Bolkestein and Mr Lamy. Their trip will be governed by the rules generally applicable in this matter.

As regards the Trilateral Commission, its rules preclude the participation of any member who holds public office. No Commissioner is therefore a member of the Trilateral, and no Commissioner has as yet voiced any intention of participating in a future meeting of the Trilateral Commission.

(2003/C 268 E/216)


by Ursula Schleicher (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(15 April 2003)

Subject: Introduction of the European health insurance card from 1 July 2004

Some Member States have had the negative experience of the misuse of cards of this type. I know this to be the case at least in Germany, where it is estimated that illegal electronic chip cards have been used to defraud health insurance funds of around EUR 1 000 million (Bayernkurier, 13 March 2003).

What precautions has the Commission taken to protect the European health insurance card from forgery and to prevent its abuse when used in another Member State?

Answer given by Ms Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(3 June 2003)

On 20 March 2003 the Brussels European Council asked for the European card to be introduced by the summer of 2004. Initially, this card will replace the E111 form (certificate of rights to health care during a tourist visit to another Member State). Given the diversity of national situations concerning the use of health insurance cards, a single model will be used whose format will make it possible to read with the naked eye the essential data for the provision of care and for reimbursement between institutions.

This standardisation should help to avoid the common errors with the current forms and to make it possible for the authorities of the states issuing the card and of the states of temporary residence to prevent improper, unlawful or fraudulent use of the card. In particular, the logical number mentioned on the card will make it possible to check that the information on the card and the information in the possession of the competent health care institution for the same number tallies. Above all, these measures will make it possible to prepare the final phase, namely the transition to an electronic European card, which will provide greater protection against fraud. Effective cooperation between Member States, and especially between the competent institutions, should thus make it possible to reduce the risk of fraud or unlawful use.

(2003/C 268 E/217)


QUESTION E-1373/03

by James Provan (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(15 April 2003)

Subject: Movement of animals for zoological gardens

EU-Member States (and candidate Member States) require different tests when receiving animals for zoological gardens from another country. If the UK is involved the requirements even differ depending on whether the animals travel by sea or air.