Progress on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications

On 23 January the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee of the European Parliament voted on the report by Bernadette Vergnaud MEP on the modernisation of the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications. After lengthy negotiations concerning amendments to the report it was approved by 33 votes in favour, 4 against and 2 abstentions. CEPI welcomes the vote and the progress made in this important issue.

The MEPs confirmed their support for the introduction of a European professional card. It will take the form of an electronic certificate issued by the home country and will be based on the Internal Market information (IMI) system. Amendments were agreed to the original proposal concerning the deadlines to be imposed on Member States for verifying the applicant’s right to practice before issuing the card. CEPI now looks forward to progress being made at the level of the European Council and calls for sufficient flexibility in the wording of the revised Directive for the card to be available in principle for as many interested professions as possible.

On “partial access” (for situations in which there are such large differences that the same profession does not exist in another state) it was agreed that this will not apply to professions which benefit from automatic recognition. It will also not apply if the professional is not fully qualified in the state of origin. The Directive will in future concern all traineeships for which contracts will have to be drawn up.

IMCO also wants to extend the common training frameworks suggested in the proposal for the general recognition system to those who already benefit from automatic recognition.