IMCO committee votes on the recognition of professional qualifications

On 17 October the EP Committee on the Internal Market (IMCO) voted in favour of the report by Emma McClarkin MEP on the implementation of the Directive on recognition of professional qualifications. The Committee agreed that the recognition of qualifications for professionals when they move to another EU Member State must be quicker, but it was emphasised that this should not compromise the reliability or safety of their services. CEPI welcomes in particular the interest and support of the Parliament for the development of a professional card and also the proposal to make it easier to establish a common platform for professions which do not benefit from automatic recognition by reducing the number of countries required to participate.

The vote in IMCO was preceded by a videoconference with the Bundestag in Berlin, allowing for an exchange of views with German MEPs. Concern was expressed in particular about the concept of partial access to a profession. The report adopted by IMCO seeks clarification of the concept but recognises that partial access can be beneficial for professions in which tasks can be clearly distinguished.

Much support was expressed for the development of a voluntary European professional card which will speed up the process of recognition by giving fast and reliable access to information. However the report calls for a detailed impact assessment of its added value and data protection conditions. Reservations about the project were expressed in the debate by German MEPs, particularly over the need to protect personal data and the need to leave the final decision on recognition to the host country.

The report is now scheduled for a vote in a plenary session of the Parliament in November. The European Commission is expected to publish a legislative proposal in December for the modernisation of the Directive.