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Professional services

Commission reports

The Commission adopted a report on Competition in Professional Services in 2004, setting out its position on the need to reform or modernise specific professional rules. A follow-up report 'Scope for more reform' was adopted in 2005.

Both reports explained that the Commission is not opposed to all regulation as there are legitimate arguments in favour of certain regulations in the professions. However restrictive regulations should only exist where they provide an effective and proportionate means of protecting consumers. The Commission invited regulatory authorities in the Member States and professional bodies to voluntarily review existing rules taking into consideration whether those rules are necessary for the public interest, whether they are proportionate, justified and necessary for the good practice of the profession, and to reform or eliminate those rules which are unjustified. It also sets out the legal framework in which these rules and regulations should be analysed and how the EC Competition rules apply to regulation in this sector.

The 2005 follow-up report gave an overview of progress made during 2004-05 by Member States in the review and removal of unjustified regulatory restrictions in the professions.