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C 134 E/8 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 6.6.

2002

(e) New working methods have been introduced for the geographical departments and the Office, and the
consistency and quality of programming will be closely monitored. Evaluation will be given a
substantially higher profile.

(f) The logical framework, which normally is attached to every financing proposal, makes specific
provision for objectively verifiable indicators, (mainly constraints of staff and time to ensure sufficient
attention to detail in the process of preparing/designing projects), but indicators are indeed sometimes
inadequate. In this regard the Commission’s decision of 16 May 2000 (2) on the reform of its external
assistance programmes makes specific provision to further strengthen both its methodology and its
training arrangements. In the last few years the Commission has greatly expanded training in project
preparation for both headquarters and field staff, as well as for counterpart officials of partner
governments.

(1) MEDA = Financial and technical measures to accompany the reform of economic and social structure in the
framework of the euro-mediterranean partnership.
(2) SEC(2000) 814.

(2002/C 134 E/008) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1965/01


by Michl Ebner (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(5 July 2001)

Subject: Pine-tree processionary caterpillar in Greece

Can the Commission state whether it is aware of the problems caused by the pine-tree processionary
caterpillar in Greece and what corrective action it is taking or intends to take?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(4 September 2001)

Defoliation of forest trees by the pine processionary caterpillar (Thaumetopoea pityocampa


Denis & Schiffermüller) has been a problem for some time now in the southern regions of the Union.
The worst affected species are the Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and the Corsican pine (Pinus nigra). As a
rule, trees attacked by the caterpillar are stunted, but they do not usually die as a result of defoliation.

In the autumn and winter of 2000, damage in Greece was mainly observed near large cities, such as
Athens and Salonika. According to the inventory of damage in Greece in 2000 drawn up by the
Community forest monitoring network, out of a total sample of 422 pines covered by 22 observation
points, 29 % of Aleppo pines and 25 % of Corsican pines had been damaged by pine processionary
caterpillars.

Forest health protection is a matter for the local authorities. In Greece, both biological control (treatments
using Bacillus thuringiensis) and mechanical treatments were applied in autumn 2000 in the worst affected
areas, mainly in or near towns and villages. The treatments will be repeated in autumn 2001.

(2002/C 134 E/009) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1985/01


by Jan Mulder (ELDR) to the Commission

(6 July 2001)

Subject: Promoting the use of marker vaccines

It has been noted in recent months and years that when there are outbreaks of infectious animal diseases
like swine fever or foot and mouth, the policy of mass slaughter of animals in certain countries has run up
against increasing resistance from the public.
6.6.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 134 E/9

Marker vaccines should make it possible to adopt a different method of combating animal disease that
would provoke less public resistance.

1. Is the Commission confident that the business world itself will be in a position within a reasonable
time to develop marker vaccines against swine fever?

2. Is the Commission prepared in the short term to make funds available from its research programmes
to ensure that such marker vaccines can be made available for use as soon as possible?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(4 September 2001)

Marker vaccines can be defined as vaccines stimulating a protective immunity distinguishable from the
immune response to a natural infection by means of laboratory tests able to discriminate between
vaccinated healthy animals and those that, having been exposed to the disease after vaccination, may
spread the disease further.

New vaccines that might potentially be used as marker vaccines against classical swine fever (CSF) have
already been developed. The current main limiting factor to their use is that no discriminatory tests are
available to reliably distinguish between vaccinated animals and infected ones. However, further research is
on-going on these vaccines and the associated discriminatory tests.

In the case of foot and mouth disease (FMD) vaccines, research is on-going to develop and validate
discriminatory tests to be used in association with the already available conventional vaccines, originally
not intended to be used as marker vaccines, as well as to develop new vaccines designed to be marker
vaccines and the associated discriminatory tests.

The Community has supported research into infectious diseases of livestock in successive Research and
Technological Development (RTD) Framework Programmes since 1989.

As regards CSF and FMD marker vaccines or strictly related matters, since 1994 the Commission has
supported or is supporting:

B seven RTD projects (total cost: € 9,54 million);

B two concerted actions (total cost: € 0,45 million);

B a trial to assess the potential use of CSF marker vaccines in emergencies (€ 0,75 million).

In the on-going 5th RTD Framework Programme, research on diseases of livestock is foreseen in the
‘Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources Programme’. In particular, the development of
marker vaccines for diseases such as FMD and CSF included in the List A of the International Office of
Epizootics (IOE) is clearly marked as a priority in Key Action 2 ‘Control of Infectious Diseases’.

It is foreseen that several research proposals on FMD will be submitted within the next deadline of the 5th
Framework Programme, with the closing date of 18 October 2001.

(2002/C 134 E/010) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2047/01


by Christopher Heaton-Harris (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(13 July 2001)

Subject: Information and public relations

How much of the budget for Commission programmes is spent on information and public relations?

Are any journalists employed in the promotion of any of these programmes?