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European Commission - Press release

European Commission seeks to modernise Professional Qualifications Directive

Brussels, 22 June 2011 - In consultation with stakeholders, the European Commission is seeking to modernise the Professional Qualifications Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC).

Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier said "Updating the Professional Qualifications Directive is one of the priorities of the Single Market Act and will help make the European economy more competitive while encouraging growth and job creation. We need to make it easier for professionals to go to where job vacancies exist. We will consider a number of important issues during this process including the creation of a professional card for interested professions and improving the training requirements for certain professions."

The Green Paper outlines possible ways forward that build on past achievements while developing new approaches to enhance mobility:

For instance, the introduction of a professional card closely linked to the Internal Market Information System (IMI) could make it considerably easier for professionals to have their qualifications recognised in another Member State. A professional card issued by a competent authority in the professional’s home Member State could then allow the professional to demonstrate his/her credentials (having the necessary qualifications, being authorised to practise) to consumers, employers and relevant authorities in another Member State

Similarly, stakeholders are invited to give their input about the potential of new common platforms to facilitate the mobility of professionals where there is no automatic recognition by developing sets of commonly agreed criteria for professional qualifications. They could be used to reduce differences in training requirements).

In addition, the minimum training requirements of certain professions (e.g. some health professions and architects) could be reformed. To that end, certain adjustments to the duration and content of training, as well as possibly changing the requisite language skills for health professions, could be necessary. This would also strengthen the legitimacy of automatic recognition of qualifications.

Stakeholders are invited to respond to the consultation by 20 September 2011. The Commission will subsequently organise a high level conference on 7 November 2011. A legislative proposal is foreseen for December 2011.

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The Green Paper aims to gather stakeholders’ views on the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC).

The primary aim of this is to facilitate mobility of EU citizens for professional purposes. It is one of the twelve levers for growth proposed in the Commission’s Single Market Act (IP/11/469). The Green Paper follows a report of how the Directive works in practice (IP/10/1367) and a first technical-level public consultation launched in January 2011 (IP/11/14). A final evaluation report, as well as a summary of the responses to the first consultation, will be published by the end of June.

The consultation document can be found here:

See also MEMO/11/438

For further information:

Contacts :

Chantal Hughes (+32 2 296 44 50)

Catherine Bunyan (+32 2 299 65 12)

Carmel Dunne (+32 2 299 88 94)

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