EESC opinion: Recognition of professional qualifications and administrative cooperation

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EESC opinion: Recognition of professional qualifications and administrative cooperation

Key points

  • Recognition of professional qualifications from other Member States is a key instrument for promoting the mobility of EU citizens and thereby implementing the Single Market.
  • The potential offered by EU citizens interested in working in another Member State has not yet been exhausted. This is a result of various obstacles to recognition of professional qualifications obtained in other Member States.
  • That is why in principle the EESC welcomes the proposal to amend Directive 2005/36/EC, which should eliminate the problems recognising professional qualifications by simplifying procedures and making them more transparent for EU citizens.
  • The EESC welcomes the European Professional Card as a clear simplification of procedures. However, it considers that certain stipulations could end up putting the safety and health of consumers and patients at risk.
  • In view of the multitude of systems for recognising qualifications in Europe, the EESC is concerned about overlaps, conflicting regulations or even contradictions. The Directive therefore necessitates clarification of the order of priority of the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications vis-à-vis the instruments of the European Qualifications Framework and European standards. Moreover, implementation of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) needs to be taken further.
  • The EESC welcomes the increased opportunities for automatic recognition on the basis of common training principles. However, the procedural requirements, the procedures and the criteria used by the Commission to determine common training principles should be stipulated in the Directive. The quorum must be raised to 50% of Member States + 1.