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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/71

parental responsibility of 3 May 2002 (1). Under Article 2 of this proposal, the rights and duties associated
with parental responsibility may result, inter alia, from an agreement having legal effect. The definition of
‘an agreement having legal effect’ under the national legal systems concerned has yet to be established, but
would, in general, imply that the agreement had been approved or authorised by administrative or judicial

As regards the difference between the national legal systems of the Member States with regard to marriage
and family law, the Justice and Home Affairs Council adopted a programme of measures for
implementation of the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in civil and commercial matters on
30 November 2000. This programme provides for the reduction of the interim measures which slow
down the implementation of decisions in various areas, including that of family law. The programme
identifies child visiting rights and maintenance claims as areas in which immediate progress is needed.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000 (2) (the Brussels II Regulation), which has been in force since
1 March 2001, lays down common rules on jurisdiction, and the recognition and implementation of
decisions on marriage and parental responsibility for joint children. The Commission also adopted a
proposal on 3 May 2002 which is currently under discussion. This proposal seeks to broaden the field of
application of the Brussels II Regulation to include all decisions on parental responsibility and to introduce
provisions on child abduction and trans-border visiting rights.

It may be seen from the above that the Commission’s initiatives in the field of family law, a highly
sensitive area in which divergences between national legislation often reflect historical and cultural
differences, relate to mutual recognition of decisions, not the harmonisation of substantive law.

(1) COM(2002) 222 final.

(2) Council Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000 of 29 May 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of
judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility for children of both spouses  OJ L 160,

(2003/C 137 E/080) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2329/02

by Laura González Álvarez (GUE/NGL) to the Council

(26 July 2002)

Subject: Human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Increasingly alarming reports have been received in recent times concerning the human rights situation in
the Islamic Republic of Iran. The number of executions announced by the official press during the first six
months of 2002 was three times as high as in the corresponding period for 2001. The current wave of
repression in the country has resulted in 21 public executions in a week and the incarceration of
thousands of people.

Furthermore, government sources reveal that four women who have been condemned to death by stoning
are in prison, awaiting their tragic fate. Their execution would bring to 23 the number of people who have
been condemned to this barbaric punishment under the Khatami presidency  not to mention the public
floggings and the harassment of ordinary people by the security forces.

The fact that the resolution on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (which was tabled in Geneva
during the final session of the UN Human Rights Commission to be held under Spain’s presidency of the
EU) failed by one vote to be adopted has been interpreted by the Teheran authorities as a sign of relaxation
on the part of the EU. This has prompted the Iranian Government to aggravate a situation which was
already serious enough.

What means can the EU employ in order to monitor the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of
Iran, apart from the dialogue which is proceeding with the country’s authorities?

Since the date of the next UN General Assembly constitutes a deadline for assessing the human rights
situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, is the EU intending to table a resolution on the subject?
C 137 E/72 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003


(6 February 2003)

The Council notes that in her question the Honourable Member assumes that there is already a Human
Rights Dialogue between the EU and the Iranian authorities. It is true that the question of human rights is
one of the numerous political issues that have already been discussed by the EU and Iran at the six-
monthly meetings that have taken place in the framework of the enlarged political dialogue.

However, it was only at its meeting in Luxembourg on 21 October 2002 that the Council formally decided
to open an official Human Rights Dialogue with Iran. That dialogue is expected to begin in December

Nevertheless, the formal establishment of a Human Rights Dialogue with a certain country does not
prevent the EU from denouncing breaches of human rights in that country, particularly in the appropriate
international fora, or from raising the matter in meetings with the third country concerned at every level,
as the EU has done with Iran.

(2003/C 137 E/081) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2330/02

by Cristiana Muscardini (UEN) to the Commission

(26 July 2002)

Subject: Reply to question E-1474/02  Directive on investment services

The reply to my previous question (E-1474/02 (1)) on the directive on investment services prompts me to
request these further clarifications:

1. Who would certify authorisation to provide investment advice?

2. Why should initial authorisation be envisaged solely in the form of a licence for an investment firm?
Would it not be advisable to maintain a clear distinction between those providing investment advice
within company structures (banks, firms, etc.) and those operating under a different status? Or is the
directive aimed at excluding the latter?

3. Which bodies would regulate advice linked to an investment portfolio and which would regulate non-
portfolio based advice?

4. What kind of firewalls does the Commission intend to put in place to avoid conflicts of interest
between investment advice providers and investment banking activities?

5. With a view to savers’ interests, why does the Commission not intend to put in place obligations
requiring the physical separation of brokerage organisations (which process stock market orders) and
organisations which manage and own assets? Would it not be a good idea to learn from the front-
running scandals involving Knight Trading, a large Nasdaq brokerage firm?

(1) OJ C 92 E, 17.4.2003, p. 59.

Answer given by M. Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(16 September 2002)

After having received a significant number of responses during the public consultation and having
carefully considered their contents, the Commission is finalising its proposal for the revision of the
Investment Services Directive (Council Directive 93/22/EEC of 10 May 1993 on investment services in the
securities field (1)). The proposal is expected to be adopted by the Commission before the end of this year.

The Commission is therefore unable, at present, to disclose its final position concerning the proposal and,
in particular, the regulatory treatment of investment advice.