Source: European Commission. | EU countries asked for clarification of the status of regulated professions in the EU. At their request, the European Commission agreed to conduct a transparency exercise and a mutual evaluation exercise. The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of regulated professions in the EU.
¡What are regulated professions? Limited access: To perform regulated professions, workers have to obtain specific qualifications or a specific title.
Requirements vary: Different requirements across the EU may make it difficult for qualified professionals to apply for vacancies in other EU countries.
Lack of information: It is often difficult to get information on what conditions these professionals have to comply with to apply for a job in another country.
Transparency and mutual evaluation exercise
To have a comprehensive overview of regulated professions in the EU and conditions to access these professions, EU countries agreed to conduct a transparency and mutual evaluation exercise between 2014 and 2016:
Mutual evaluation exercise - conditions to access professions can vary significantly between EU countries. The reasons behind those differences are often not well understood and certain requirements may no longer be necessary. The process invites EU countries to conduct a mutual evaluation of the respective barriers they have in place limiting access to certain professions.
The main objectives of the transparency and mutual evaluation are:
simplification and improvement of citizens' access to information on regulated professions
commitment of EU countries to review the requirements they impose with regards to access to and pursuit of regulated professions.
To enhance transparency for EU citizens, the Commission set up a database that allows citizens to learn more about professional access requirements across the EU. In the context of this exercise, the list of regulated professions was updated and new information was added. An interactive map was also created where citizens can easily visualise which professions are regulated by country, and the distribution of regulated professions by economic sector.
National action plans
Part of the legal obligations to be fulfilled by EU countries when putting into force the revised Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC, is the submission of reports presenting the outcome of their proportionality assessment of the regulation of professions, and the identification of any need for reform. The deadline for complying with this requirement was 18 January 2016.
These reports, or national action plans (NAPs) as they were called in the Communication, ‘Evaluating national regulations on access to professions’ are now available for a majority of EU countries. The list of national action plans will be updated whenever the Commission receives a new report.
Latest list of National action plans
Stakeholders can react to these reports by taking part in the public consultation, ‘Regulation of professions: proportionality and National Action Plans’ to be launched by the end of May 2016.
On the 18 May 2016, a conference will take place in Brussels where participants can discuss these action plans and interact with experts on the economic impacts of reforms in regulated professions.
Communication on the evaluation of regulated professions
On 2 October 2013, the Commission adopted the Communication on evaluating national regulations on access to professions. It presents a work plan for the mapping and mutual evaluation of regulated professions foreseen in the revised Professional Qualifications Directive. The Communication released, together with a Staff Working Document on the outcome of the peer review on legal form, shareholding and tariff requirements under the Services Directive.