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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/205

(2003/C 110 E/228) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3337/02

by Christine De Veyrac (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 November 2002)

Subject: Recognition of diplomas  free movement of musicians

Musicians apparently encounter difficulties in getting their training in one Member State recognised in

For example, a French music student at a conservatory who has taken courses in Belgium cannot get the
latter counted towards the French diploma.

This means that experience acquired abroad becomes a career obstacle for musicians instead of a plus.

The Commission is currently celebrating the millionth Erasmus student. Certain subjects, however, would
appear still to be suffering from neglect, and students working in the arts are disadvantaged vis-à-vis
others. Has music been left out of the Erasmus programme?

The Commission is also currently reforming the overall system of mutual recognition of professional
qualifications. The arrangements applying to students should be as effective as those for workers.

What measures does the Commission intend to take to create an identical situation for all European
citizens and encourage their mobility within the Union?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(7 January 2003)

According to the information at the Commission’s disposal, the only regulated professions in the field of
music are those of organist and choirmaster (United Kingdom) and member of an orchestra (Italy). The
Commission has no knowledge of any specific problems concerning the professional recognition of these
professions. Since the profession of musicians in general is not regulated in any Member State, Directives
89/48/EEC (1) and 92/51/EEC (2) on the mutual recognition of qualifications do not apply to this
profession. These directives only apply when a Member State national wishes to have access to a regulated
profession in another Member State, i.e. one which is subject by laws, regulations or administrative
provisions to the possession of a diploma. If this is the case, the migrant needs to obtain recognition of the
diploma awarded in his/her country of origin to gain access to the profession in question. If, on the other
hand, a diploma is not required, professional recognition is not necessary.

The Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the recognition of
professional qualifications (3) basically aims to consolidate and simplify the systems for the recognition of
professional qualifications currently in force. This proposal also introduces some new elements, namely
further liberalisation of the provision of services, more automatic recognition on the basis of common
platforms and better systems for informing and assisting migrants.

The academic recognition of diplomas and qualifications, the aim of which is to allow individuals with
qualifications to pursue an education, falls within the competence of the Member States. This type of
recognition is not, at present, covered by Community provisions. The national authorities have the right to
ask for the academic recognition of the qualification obtained in another Member State. They are also free
to determine the substantive and procedural rules governing this type of recognition. They must, however,
comply with Article 12 of the EC Treaty which prohibits any direct or indirect discrimination on grounds
of nationality.

The recognition of periods of study under the Erasmus programme is a separate issue from the academic
recognition of qualifications. Under the Erasmus mobility scheme, recognition presupposes that there is an
agreement between two participating institutions whereby the period of study followed by the Erasmus
student in one of the institutions is recognised in the other. According to the rules and procedures of the
C 110 E/206 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

Erasmus programme, no course subject may be placed at a disadvantage or disqualified regarding eligibility
for an Erasmus scholarship. The Commission is aware that some subjects have turned out to be more
popular than others when it comes to the mobility of Erasmus students. However, the national agencies
are being encouraged to promote mobility in the less popular disciplines and to the less popular

(1) Council Directive 89/48/EEC 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, OJ L 19,
(2) 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, OJ L 209, 24.7.1992.
(3) COM(2002) 119 final.

(2003/C 110 E/229) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3342/02

by Karl-Heinz Florenz (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 November 2002)

Subject: Deliveries of water from the Federal Republic of Germany to the Netherlands

A German municipal water supply association, which has annual rights to a total of 6 800 000 cubic
metres of water, but which needs only 3 563 000 cubic metres, has been prevented by the competent
district authorities from going ahead with its plan to deliver 2 000 000 cubic metres of drinking water
each year to the area covered by a water supply undertaking in a neighbouring part of the Netherlands and
has instead been authorised only to deliver up to 600 000 cubic metres each year as a secondary supplier.
The reason given for this decision was that legal problems or problems relating to property rights
(Article 14 of the Basic Law) might arise if the bulk of the water from a catchment area were to be used to
supply the border region in the Netherlands, since the inhabitants of the German region would have to
cope alone with the restrictions stemming from the existence of the water protection area.

Is this decision, taken in accordance with German law, consistent with European law and the European
philosophy of opening up borders and markets?

If so, when will the relevant legal provisions be amended to clear the way for the proposed cross-border
water supply arrangement in keeping with the resources available in the two countries?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(7 January 2003)

According to the information supplied to the Commission by the Honourable Member, the decision by the
national authorities to allow a German municipal water supply association to supply only 600 000 of the
2 000 000 m3 of drinking water it intended to deliver to a neighbouring part of the Netherlands as a
secondary supplier could constitute a quantitative restriction on exports and could fall within the scope of
Article 29 of the EC Treaty.

Under Article 29 of the EC Treaty, quantitative restrictions on exports, and all measures having equivalent
effect, are prohibited between Member States.

This decision could, nevertheless, be justified by Article 30 of the EC Treaty if it satisfies one of the
objectives mentioned and is proportionate to that objective.

In order to further investigate this matter, the Commission will contact the national authorities and will
inform the Honourable Member of the action taken.