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Brussels, 28 February 2008

Vocational qualifications: infringement proceedings against France

The Commission has decided to start legal proceedings against France before the Court of Justice of the European Communities for breaches of Articles 39, 43 and 49 of the EC Treaty and of Directive 92/51/EEC on the general recognition of diplomas (consolidated in Directive 2005/36/EC) on account of its refusal to allow snowboard instructors from other Member States, especially Germany, to teach this discipline on its own in France on the grounds that it may only be taught by ski instructors.

As a result, snowboard instructors from other Member States who have not been trained as ski instructors are currently unable to engage in their occupation in France. The Commission believes this ban might be justified on consumer protection grounds in that the presence of ski instructors teaching different disciplines at French ski resorts might mislead consumers with regard to the extent of the snowboard instructors’ abilities. However, the Commission considers that consumers would be better protected by less restrictive measures such as requiring snowboard instructors to display the vocational or training qualification of their Member State of origin.

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

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