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1999 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 118/149

Accordingly, the Commission has no plans to present proposals to amend the ‘pharmacy Directives’
which would undermine the principle of the indivisibility of diplomas. The Commission takes the view
that this principle works very much to the benefit of pharmacists in the Community in that it effectively
guarantees their right of free movement within the internal market.

(1) OJ L 253, 24.9.1985.

(2) OJ L 253, 24.9.1985.
(3) OJ L 147, 9.6.1975.

(1999/C 118/185) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2813/98

by Susan Waddington (PSE) to the Commission

(17 September 1998)

Subject: Regulation of international marriage agencies

Across the EU, a number of ‘marriage agencies’ offer specialist services aimed at introducing EU men to
young women in Thailand and other South-east Asian countries. Whilst the motivation of some of these
agencies is genuine, their operations are currently subject to no regulation or control. Without regulation,
inspection and control, such agencies may be used directly or indirectly and a cover for trafficking in
women for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Following Parliament’s recommendation (1) that consideration be given to the development of a

regulatory framework for these agencies, what action has the Commission taken in this direction, and
what further action is envisaged?

(1) OJ C 14, 19.1.1998, p. 39.

Answer given by Mrs Gradin on behalf of the Commission

(26 October 1998)

The Commission is aware of the fact that some cases have been brought to the public attention, in
particular via the media, where marriage agencies in the Union have been used directly or indirectly for the
purpose of trafficking in women. It is also true that for the time being it is up to the Member States to
decide whether and how they wish to control the way these marriages agencies operate.

The Commission envisages a comparative study on the situation in the Member States so as to assess the
need for a legislative initiative at European level.

At present under the Daphne initiative the question of forced marriage is one of the subjects under
investigation by partners in two 1997 projects.

(1999/C 118/186) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2814/98

by Michael Hindley (PSE) to the Commission

(17 September 1998)

Subject: Action programme for the Republic of Kazakhstan (EU aid to Kazakhstan)

Under the 1996-1999 indicative programme agreed between the Kazakhstan authorities and the TACIS
management committee, special reference was made to assistance to facilitate Kazakhstan’s entry into the

Can the Commission report on how this assistance is being provided?