Brussels, 8 October 2009
Professional qualifications: Commission formally requests Luxembourg to amend national legislation on training requirements for general care nurses
The European Commission has decided to send a formal request to Luxembourg to amend its legislation on the training requirements of nurses in order to satisfy the minimum requirements stipulated by the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications. This formal request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion', the second phase of the infringement procedure as laid down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
Minimum training requirements not met
Under the Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC), all Member States are required to provide a certain level of training for general care nurses and to ensure automatic recognition of their qualifications, irrespective of where in the EU they were obtained. In the Commission's view, the Luxembourg legislation on the training of nurses responsible for general care does not meet the minimum training requirements laid down in Article 31 of this Directive.
If European law on the recognition of professional qualifications is not respected, qualified persons run the risk of not being able to exercise their right to practise their profession in any of the Member States. Moreover, by blocking Europe-wide recognition of professional qualifications, the Member States are reducing the scope for their own citizens and their own firms to choose qualified people from other Member States to provide services on their territory.
Under the EU Treaty, the European Commission has powers to take legal action – known as infringement procedures – against a Member State that is not respecting its obligations under EU rules. These procedures consist of three steps. The first is that the Member State receives a letter of formal notice and has two months to respond. In case further compliance with EU legislation is needed, the Commission sends a reasoned opinion. Again the Member State has two months to reply. If there is no satisfactory reply, the Commission can refer the matter to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. It can also request that the Court impose a fine on the country concerned if it does not comply with the Court's ruling.
Latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States: