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The liberal professions, a lever for the development of Europe: towards a European manifesto of professionals

47 million people in Europe work in regulated professions i.e. 22% of the working population. Liberal professions undeniably play a key role in our economies and societies. With this in mind, the EESC Group III "Various interests" decided to organise a meeting to discuss the challenges faced by these professions and to lay the foundations for ensuring that they achieve their potential in the European Union in the coming years.

In the morning, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and other major representatives of the Italian government will welcome participants, to be followed by a presentation of the main ideas for the "European Manifesto of Professionals" and a general overview of how the professions contribute to the development of the EU in terms of economic growth, employment and social inclusion, with particular reference to young people and women.

In the afternoon, participants will have the opportunity to take a closer look at the regulation of the professions in Europe, specifically how to reconcile internal market and competition requirements with safeguards for ethical independence and the public interest in exercising a profession (e.g. the role of doctors in public health or of engineers in building and road safety) . Lastly, the debates will focus on cross-cutting issues such as fair pay, professional independence, service quality and the ethical, social and free-thinking values of the professions, which are essential to safeguarding them and to ensuring due respect for them in Europe.

Ideas and proposals emerging from the day's presentations and debates will be outlined in the conclusions of the meeting and will feed into the "European Manifesto of Professionals".