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Document 52000AE1419

Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the "Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council extending certain programmes of Community action in the field of public health adopted by Decisions No. 645/96/EC, No. 646/96/EC, No. 647/96/EC, No. 102/97/EC, No. 1400/97/EC and No. 1296/1999/EC and amending those Decisions"

OJ C 116, 20.4.2001, p. 96–97 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

52000AE1419

Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the "Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council extending certain programmes of Community action in the field of public health adopted by Decisions No. 645/96/EC, No. 646/96/EC, No. 647/96/EC, No. 102/97/EC, No. 1400/97/EC and No. 1296/1999/EC and amending those Decisions"

Official Journal C 116 , 20/04/2001 P. 0096 - 0097


Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the "Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council extending certain programmes of Community action in the field of public health adopted by Decisions No. 645/96/EC, No. 646/96/EC, No. 647/96/EC, No. 102/97/EC, No. 1400/97/EC and No. 1296/1999/EC and amending those Decisions"

(2001/C 116/20)

On 15 September 2000 the Council decided to consult the Economic and Social Committee, under Article 152 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, on the above mentioned proposal.

The Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship, which was responsible for preparing the Committee's work on the subject, adopted its opinion on 14 November 2000. (The rapporteur working without a study group was Mr Fuchs).

At its 377th plenary session on 29 and 30 November 2000 (meeting of 29 November) the Economic and Social Committee adopted the following opinion with 110 votes in favour and three abstentions.

1. Introduction

1.1. The proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the extension of the Community public health programmes forms part of the health strategy which the Commission recently presented(1).

1.2. The new health strategy comprises a framework for action in the field of public health and inter-linked and mutually-supportive components in other Community policies and activities that have an influence on factors that affect health. As part of the public health framework, a new, overall, programme for action in the field of public health has been proposed by the Commission for adoption by the European Parliament and the Council pursuant to Article 152 of the EC Treaty(2). The new programme will replace the current programmes of action in the public health field.

1.3. In view of the need for completion of the co-decision procedure concerning the proposal for the new public health programme, it is possible that adoption of the relevant decision of the European Parliament and of the Council will not take place before the end of some of the existing programmes.

The following Community action programmes and plans expire on 31 December 2000:

- action programme on health promotion, information, education and training(3);

- action plan to combat cancer(4);

- action programme on the prevention of AIDS and certain other communicable diseases(5);

- action programme on the prevention of drug dependence(6).

The following Community action programmes and plans expire on 31 December 2001:

- action programme on health monitoring(7);

- action programme on pollution-related diseases(8).

1.4. Actions under the existing programmes are vital for pursuing the public health objectives of the Community and damage will be caused, in policy and field activity terms, if they are discontinued.

1.5. The extension of the programmes that are due to end in 2000 and 2001 should, however, be limited in time until the new public health programme comes into force. For this reason, it is proposed to extend these six programmes until 31 December 2002.

2. General comments

2.1. The Economic and Social Committee welcomes the Commission proposal that the six Community public health programmes be extended to 31 December 2002.

2.2. Until the new, comprehensive public health action programme, which is to replace the current action programmes, is adopted the Committee considers it necessary to make it possible for the measures implemented under these programmes to continue.

Brussels, 29 November 2000.

The President

of the Economic and Social Committee

Göke Frerichs

(1) Communication on the health strategy of the European Community (COM(2000) 285 final).

(2) See ESC Opinion on the Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council adopting a programme of Community action in the field of public health (2001-2006).

(3) Decision No. 645/96/EC - OJ L 95, 16.4.1996.

(4) Decision No. 646/96/EC - OJ L 95, 16.4.1996.

(5) Decision No. 647/96/EC - OJ L 95, 16.4.1996.

(6) Decision No. 102/97/EC - OJ L 19, 22.1.1997.

(7) Decision No. 1400/97/EC - OJ L 193, 22.7.1997.

(8) Decision No. 1296/1999/EC - OJ L 155, 22.6.1999.

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