EN (1999/C 135/117)

Official Journal of the European Communities WRITTEN QUESTION E-2700/98 by Amedeo Amadeo (NI) to the Commission (1 September 1998)

C 135/99

Subject: Dispute between Italy and the Commission regarding stomatological and orthodontic care Prior to 1980, the year in which the first degree courses in dentistry were introduced (also the year in which the EC directives came into force) offering places on a strictly limited and selective basis, in some medical schools dentistry was regarded as the Cinderella of medical specialisations. It now appears, however, that all the doctors registered on the register of dentists (30 000 in Italy) must be removed on the grounds that they do not satisfy the requirements of the Community directives. With reference to the so-called ‘doctor directives’, Directives 75/362/EEC (1) and 75/363/EEC (2) which regulate the recognition of doctors’ qualifications, their right of establishment and right to practise, among other things, as specialists in odontostomatology, can the Commission say whether, from a legal point of view, it meant by this anything other than ‘activities involving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ...(...)... the teeth, mouth, jaws ...’ carried out by doctors? A precise answer would be appreciated because in Italy the interpretation of this legislation has the potential to cause unpleasant professional problems and to have harmful repercussions, not least in the legal sphere. For the purpose of further clarification, can the Commission also say whether the so-called ‘dentist directives’, Directives 78/686/EEC (3) and 78/687/EEC (4) of 25 July 1978, have the legal authority to regulate, directly or indirectly, the activities of doctors in the Member States?
(1) (2) (3) (4) OJ L OJ L OJ L OJ L 167, 30.6.1975, p. 167, 30.6.1975, p. 233, 24.8.1978, p. 233, 24.8.1978, p. 1. 14. 1. 10.

Joint answer to Written Questions E-2698/98, E-2699/98 and E-2700/98 given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission (27 October 1998) According to the information available to the Commission, Spain is the only Member State apart from Italy where dental practitioners covered by the ‘dentists’ Directives 78/686/EEC and 78/687/EEC (namely ‘licenciados in odontología’) and doctors specialising in stomatology belong to the same professional body (‘Colegio de Odontólogos y Estomatólogos’). The Commission wishes to point out, however, that the Spanish and Italian situations are not comparable, since in Spain doctors specialising in stomatology belong exclusively to the above-mentioned professional body, while non-specialist doctors have never been able to practise dentistry as their main activity, since this is prohibited by national legislation. As regards legislation in France and Luxembourg, the Commission is not aware of any regulations such as those mentioned by the Honourable Member. Directives 78/686/EEC and 78/687/EEC on dental practitioners, the purpose of which is the creation of a specific profession of dentist as distinct from that of doctor, group certain activities under the professional title of ‘dental practitioner’. These directives were interpreted by the Court of Justice in its judgment of 1 June 1995 in case C-40/93 Commission v Italy (1). It follows from this judgment that, in order to have the right to practise dentistry, the dental practitioner must possess one of the qualifications referred to in Article 2 of Directive 78/686/EEC, unless expressly covered by the exemption provided for in the directive − including Article 19 relating to Italy − and that the Member States may on no account create categories of dental practitioner which do not correspond to any of the categories provided for by the directives concerned. Thus the Court ruled that, by deferring, by Law No 471 of 31 October 1988, until the 1984/1985 academic year, with regard to diplomas in medicine and surgery, the final date set in Article 19 of Directive 78/686/EEC, Italy failed to fulfil its obligations under these directives, since at the time when Directives 78/686/EEC and 78/687/EEC obliging Italy to create the specific profession of dentist were

C 135/100

Official Journal of the European Communities



adopted, dentistry was practised in that Member State by doctors. By way of exemption, Article 19 of Directive 78/686/EEC allows such doctors to continue to practise dentistry and to move to other Member States as dental practitioners on the main condition that they began their medical training before 28 January 1980. As Community law stands at present, only doctors who began their medical training in Italy before 28 January 1980 are covered by Article 19 (on the conditions laid down by this article) and may thus practise dentistry and move to other Member States as dental practitioners. Directive 93/16/EEC (2), which consolidates Directives 75/362 and 75/363/EEC, does not specify the field of activity of doctors but lays down solely the minimum training criteria. Nor is it the purpose of the ‘dentists’ Directives 78/686/EEC and 78/687/EEC to regulate the activities of doctors. However, the special situation of Italy at the time the ‘dentists’ Directives were adopted called for a temporary derogation (Article 19 of Directive 78/686/EEC). With regard to the questions on membership of professional bodies, the Commission refers the Honourable Member to the answer to Written Question E-1522/96 by Mrs Muscardini (3). The Commission also refers the Honourable Member to the answers to Written Questions E-1324/95 (4), 836/96 (5), 3592/96 (6), 3593/966 and 1649/97 by Mrs Muscardini (7), which all deal with odontostomatology in Italy.
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Reports 1995, pages I-1319. OJ L 165, 7.7.1993. OJ C 356, 25.11.1996. OJ C 277, 23.10.1995. OJ C 280, 25.9.1996. OJ C 186, 18.6.1997. OJ C 391, 23.12.1997.

(1999/C 135/118)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-2706/98 by Angela Billingham (PSE) to the Commission (1 September 1998)

Subject: EU subsidy for school milk Can the Commission verify that the current level of subsidy for schools in the UK is 11,98 p per pint of milk? If so, given the importance of milk as a source of calcium for children, is this an adequate level of subsidy or does it need to be reviewed? Can the Commission confirm what channels primary schools have to use in relation to the Intervention Board in Reading in the UK in order to access this subsidy? Can the Commission investigate whether there is an unnecessary amount of bureaucracy in accessing it and if so, how this procedure can be simplified?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission (25 September 1998) Following an adjustment of the United Kingdom green rate on 3 May 1998, the level of subsidy for whole milk distributed under the Community school milk scheme now amounts to 11,67 pence per pint. This subsidy, which amounts to 95 % of the target price for milk, is higher than any other subsidy granted in the framework of the common market organisation for milk and milk products. The Commission is convinced that this level of subsidy is adequate. A primary school in the United Kingdom wishing to participate in the scheme should contact the Community school milk subsidy scheme section in the intervention board in Reading, which is responsible for implementing the scheme in the United Kingdom. As regards the practical arrangements for the scheme, the Commission’s role is confined to checking their conformity with the existing Community legislation. The administrative procedures as such fall under national competence and, therefore, their possible simplification should be discussed with the British authorities in the first instance.

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