CEPI meets… Bernadette Vergnaud

CEPI recently met Ms Bernadette Vergnaud, Member of the European Parliament (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats), Vice President of the IMCO Committee, for a brief interview on the revision of the Professional Qualifications Directive.

CEPI is in favour of a simple and transparent system for the recognition of professional qualifications, easy to access for professionals. On the main aspects of the revision which should be debated in the committee, Ms Vergnaud emphasized that the most frequently discussed questions are the professional cards, the link with Bologna, the language questions, and specific difficulties for regulated professions.

Concerning the professional card, she said that the objective should be to ensure it includes all relevant information for a profession, and that an important aspect concerns also its format and degree of harmonization. She insists on the fact that representative organisations should find an agreement at European level for a profession, based on the standards to be defined by the directive (minimum information, data security, right to access to the information, format). In the meantime a transitional solution could be to have a system of certificates exchanged between authorities or professional associations.

We are worried about how Article 15 is currently formulated, as we agree on the fact that it is not workable as such. The idea of a 28th regime to facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications instead is attractive in our view. Ms Vergnaud believes that this is a key point of the directive, which will certainly raise intense discussions.

We also asked her about the involvement of professional associations in the process of recognition of qualifications. On that point, she praised the Commission exemplar work in this area, for its commitment to listen to all parties and to ensure that the professionals’ experience on the ground will serve as basis for the proposal. On the European Parliament side, Ms Vergnaud added that the IMCO committee will continue to organise hearings with professional organisations, and that she hopes the work will continue to be done in close collaboration with all stakeholders, as she believes it is “the only way to make good legislation”.

Read the full interview in our CEPI meets section (in French only).