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STRASBOURG FOCUS - 21-24 APRIL 2009

>> THIS WEEK IN STRASBOURG


WEDNESDAY 22 APRIL, 14:30
PRESS ROOM Press conference with Kartika Liotard on Patients’ rights in cross-border
healthcare.
MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
Miloslav Ransdorf
Czech Republic
The Roaming II regulation comes in response to the lack of competition in the mobile communications
market, which is leading to excessive prices for consumers travelling in different EU Member States. The
proposals by rapporteur Adina-Ioana Vălean (ALDE) and myself, as rapporteur on behalf of GUE/NGL, aim
to extend the regulation for voice roaming and to widen the scope of roaming to SMS and data services. The
duration of the regulation would also be extended to 2013. I also strongly support the idea of transparency
as well as safeguard measures to protect consumers and to avoid “bill-shocks”. Specific concerns should
also be to provide free access to the internet and the protection of small enterprises.

TRANSPORT SERVICES BY COACH AND BUS


Helmuth Markov
Germany
I welcome the proposed introduction of a modified 12-day rule for drivers engaged in single occasional
services of international carriage of passengers. The draft amendment to the regulation on driving and
resting times (for which I have been shadow
rapporteur) maintains the social protection of drivers. It also helps coach holiday companies and drivers to
plan their tours in a way which is reasonable and more comfortable for both sides. This proposal is based on
an agreement by the social partners and I hope the Council will accept this compromise shared by a large
civil and (hopefully) political majority.

PATIENTS' RIGHTS IN CROSS-BORDER HEALTHCARE


Kartika Liotard
Netherlands
The European Parliament will debate a report ‘Patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare’ on 23 April. The
proposal aims to facilitate the movement of patients across borders to receive treatment by regulating the
reimbursement of costs. However, because this is already regulated in the Social Security Regulation
1408/71, the question is why do we need this new Directive? Is it because the Commission wants to hand
over healthcare to the market? This can only result in the deconstruction of national healthcare systems. It
would be better if the Commission made an effort to create equal access for all to healthcare and treated
healthcare for what it really is, a service of public interest.

TIMBER & TIMBER PRODUCTS


Jens Holm
Sweden
Studies show us that deforestation accounts for some 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions and is a
substantial driver of biodiversity loss. It is therefore crucial that we take urgent action to halt this major
contributor to the climate change problem. Part of the answer is the introduction of stringent sustainability
requirements for all timber and timber products sourced from forests, including respecting the rights of the
local forest people, and the promotion of instruments such as eco-labelling and forest certification schemes.

COMMON FISHERIES POLICY


Pedro Guerreiro
Portugal
The control of fishing activities, within the framework of the Common Fisheries Policy, is the responsibility of
the Member States. In this context, the Community is in charge of supporting the installation and
modernization of proper methods of surveillance as well as the supervision and control of Exclusive
Economic Zones of and by the Member States. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that this proposed
regulation respects and does not call into question the competence and the responsibility incumbent on the
Member States concerning their control of the implementation of Common Fisheries Policy rules.