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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 350 E/157

Accordingly, different prices cannot a priori be regarded as unjustified and cases must be looked at
according to the specific circumstances prevailing.

Pricing practices for magazines have been dealt with in the past in some instances under EC competition
law procedures. In one case the Court of Justice concluded that in the context of a selective distribution
system for newspapers and periodicals which affects trade between Member States, a requirement that
fixed prices must be respected renders that system incompatible with Article 81(1). However, the
Commission may, in considering an application for exemption under Article 81(3), examine whether, in
a particular case, such an element of a distribution system may be justified (1).

The Commission will keep these elements in mind when considering cases in this area which may be
brought to its attention.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 3 July 1985, SA Binon & Cie v. SA Agence et messageries de la presse, Case
243/83, ECR 1985 p. 2015.

(2001/C 350 E/169) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1441/01

by Mary Banotti (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(17 May 2001)

Subject: Recognition of diplomas

What progress if any has been made to improve the recognition of teaching diplomas within the EU and
in particular the mutual recognition of diplomas for music teachers within the Union?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(20 July 2001)

The recognition of teaching diplomas is governed by Council Directive 89/48/ECC of 21 December 1988
on a general system for the recognition of higher-education diplomas awarded on completion of
professional education and training of at least three years’ duration (1) and Council Directive 92/51/EEC of
18 June 1992 on a second general system for the recognition of professional education and training to
supplement Directive 89/48/EEC (2). The General System applies across a wide range of professions
requiring various levels of qualifications, including teachers. The General System provides that nationals
from one Member State have the right to exercise in another Member State a profession for which they are
fully qualified in their Member State of origin. The recognition under the Directives is not automatic, as
the host Member State may impose on the migrant a compensation measure (an adaptation period or
a test) when there are substantial differences between the migrant’s education and training and the
education and training required in the host Member State. Under the Directives, Member States must
communicate to the Commission every two years a report on the application of the Directives. From these
reports, it emerges that teachers represent one of the largest professional groups to have benefited from
the Directives. In the years 1991-1994, over 5 000 teachers obtained recognition under the General
System. For further details, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its reports to the
Parliament and the Council on the state of application of the General System Directives (3). The statistic
reports for the years 1997-1998 show 2 431 decisions of recognition of teaching diplomas. Out of these,
2 158 were granted without compensation measures. The most recent statistic reports (for 10 Member
States +3 European Economic Area (EEA) countries) indicate that in the years 1999-2000, 2 031 teachers
were granted recognition under the General System, in 1 850 cases with no compensation measures. The
Commission does not have specific data on music teachers, as the professional group of teachers is not
broken down into sub-divisions. At all events, the Commission is not aware of any general problem having
arisen with respect to this category of teachers.
C 350 E/158 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 11.12.2001

The Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against France and Germany for non compliance
with the Directive as regards the recognition of teaching diplomas. All the proceedings have been closed
further to the adoption by the Member States concerned of the appropriate changes in their legislation
and/or administrative practice.

From a legislative standpoint, the operation of the general system has been improved by the adoption on
26 February 2001 of the Simpler Legislation for the Internal Market (SLIM) Directive (4) which has
introduced the obligation for the host Member State to take into consideration, during the examination of
the request for recognition, the experience which the individual has gained after obtaining a diploma. At
the same time, the Commission is just now launching a public consultation to prepare for a new Directive
on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The Commission has a proposal for a more
uniform, transparent and flexible regime for professional recognition programmed for adoption before the
Spring European Council in 2002.

(1) OJ L 19, 24.1.1989.

(2) OJ L 209, 24.7.1992.
(3) COM(96) 46 final and COM(2000) 17 final.
(4) Directive 2001/19/CE (n’est pas encore publié) of the Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directives
89/48/EEC and 92/51/EEC on the general system for the recognition of professional qualifications and Council
Directives 77/452/EEC, 77/453/EEC, 78/686/EEC, 78/687/EEC, 78/1026/EEC, 78/1027/EEC 80/154/EEC, 80/155/
EEC, 85/384/EEC, 85/432/EEC, 85/433/EEC and 93/16/EEC concerning the professions of nurse responsible for
general care, dental practitioner, veterinary surgeon, midwife, architect, pharmacist and doctor (OJ C 28,

(2001/C 350 E/170) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1452/01

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(17 May 2001)

Subject: Labour leasing agencies

The Greek General Confederation of Labour has complained that agencies leasing workers to businesses
have mushroomed recently in Greece. The agencies act as intermediaries between the companies and the
workers, hiring workers on behalf of the final employer on whose premises they will work. In other words,
they ‘loan’ or ‘lease’ workers to companies, usually without paying the workers their social security or their
rightful pay, and without the job rights established by other workers in the company.

Since such terms of employment result in a permanent squeeze on workers’ incomes as a whole and
undermine their job rights, does the Commission consider that there is a need for Community provisions
to safeguard workers against such practices? Does the Commission know whether this development has
also occurred in other Member States?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(18 July 2001)

In view of the growth in temporary work, the Commission proposed a directive as early as 1982 to create
a framework for this employment model, which is rapidly becoming popular in Europe. This proposal,
which was amended in 1984 (1), was never adopted. While the Directive (2) on the health and safety of
temporary workers was adopted in 1991, two other more general proposals concerning atypical work
(covering part-time work and fixed-term contracts) came to nothing. Following this failure, discussions
with the social partners at European level were begun in 1995 concerning the flexibility of working hours
and the safety of workers. The social partners agreed to negotiate on this issue but to do so by separating
the various subjects, which led to a framework agreement implemented by the adoption of a Directive on
part-time work in 1997 (3) and a Directive on fixed-term work in 1999 (4). Finally, in May 2000, the social
partners decided to open negotiations on temporary work. Unfortunately, one year later, on 21 May 2001,