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IP/06/1787

Brussels, 13 December 2006

Professional qualifications: infringement proceedings against France

The European Commission has taken action against France to correct breaches of EU law on professional qualifications. The Commission has decided to refer France to the European Court of Justice over its rules on the recognition of qualifications for canyoning guides. In addition, the Commission has decided, under Article 228 of the EC Treaty, to send France a further reasoned opinion requesting that it comply immediately with a 2004 Court judgment requiring it to implement EU rules on the recognition of qualifications for special needs teachers.

France – recognition of professional qualification for canyoning guides

The Commission has decided to refer France to the Court of Justice of the European Communities for infringing Articles 39, 43 and 49 of the EC Treaty and Directive 92/51/EEC on a general system for the recognition of professional qualifications. France has refused to allow canyoning guides from other Member States to practise this activity as a stand-alone option in France, arguing that access to the activity of canyoning guide in France is restricted to mountain guides, potholers and mountaineering instructors. Consequently, canyoning guides from other Member States who have not received professional training in any of those three disciplines are prevented from engaging in their profession in France. The Commission realises that such a ban could be justified on the grounds of consumer protection: if instructors teaching the different disciplines were to co-exist, consumers could be misled as to the precise scope of the various instructors’ competencies. However, the Commission feels that consumers could be protected in a less restrictive manner by requiring canyoning guides to use the professional title or certificate which they would use in the Member State from which they originate.

France – special needs teachers

The Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to France for non-compliance with the judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-402/02. According to this ruling, France is under an obligation to bring its legislation on the recognition of the diplomas required by special needs teachers to access the profession in the public sector into line with Directives 89/48/EEC and 92/51/EEC on a general system for the recognition of professional qualifications. To date, the new legislation has not been adopted.

The latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/community_law/eulaw/index_en.htm


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