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European Commission


Brussels, 9 October 2013

Commissioner Michel Barnier welcomes the European Parliament vote on the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive: a good result for the promotion of professional mobility

I congratulate the European Parliament on having adopted today the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive, which is one of the priorities of the Single Market Act.

The text adopted today will make it easier for professionals who wish to establish themselves or provide their services in other Member States to have their qualifications recognised, whilst guaranteeing an improved level of protection for consumers and citizens. The balance achieved reflects the spirit of cooperation between the institutions which prevailed during the discussions on modernising this Directive. I am convinced that the Council will approve this revised Directive in the coming weeks so that it can enter into force before the end of the year.

The European Professional Card – originally an idea put forward by the European Parliament – is one of the major changes to this Directive. The use of this card, which will be proposed for certain professions, will allow citizens who are interested to obtain the recognition of their qualifications more easily and more quickly. This card is based on the use of the Internal Market Information System (IMI) and will take the form of an electronic certificate. Several professions have already expressed an interest in using this card.

The Directive contains other measures which will contribute to encouraging the mobility of professionals across the European Union and for which Parliament's support was essential. Thanks to common training frameworks, the system of automatic recognition will be extended to new professions. On the other hand, young graduates wishing to access a regulated profession will be able to benefit from this Directive to do all or part of their traineeship abroad.

The European Parliament also largely supported the proposals aimed at strengthening the protection of consumers and patients, notably with the creation of an alert mechanism targeting health and education professionals who have been suspended or prevented from practising their profession in another Member State.

I acknowledge in particular the work of the rapporteur on this file, Bernadette Vergnaud, and the shadow rapporteurs. Their commitment and willingness to compromise allowed us to arrive at a text which contributes to new employment opportunities for young qualified professionals whilst ensuring the protection of consumers and patients.

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