Conveyancing Services Market (December 2007)
Study for the European Commission, DG Competition led by the Centre of European Law and Politics (ZERP) at Bremen University
In order to further explore the economic impact of professional services regulation on a specific market, a study has been undertaken led by the Centre of European Law and Politics (ZERP) at Bremen University to analyse the effects of professional regulation on the efficiency and performance of the EU markets for legal services associated with house and land sales (conveyancing services).Conveyancing services comprise, for instance, pre-contract searches, transfer deed drafting, signature certification and deed registration in the Land Registry.
This market was selected for in depth study as it is of direct interest to consumers and of high overall economic significance. It is estimated that property turnover in the EU27 for 2005 was almost €1,800 billion (16% of EU27 GDP) with the corresponding turnover in conveyancing services being around €16.7 billion. Measures to open up this market will therefore directly contribute to the Lisbon objectives of growth and jobs.
The study, surveying 21 EU countries, is the first of its kind and integrates a legal and economic approach. The study presents the effects of different regulatory systems on consumer's choice and quality and price of services.
- Brief summary (press release) - Commission publishes study on EU conveyancing services market - IP/08/101
- Standalone paper: en de fr
Published alongside this study are a set of "country fiches", which set out key legal and economic findings for the 21 EU countries studied. These served as a source of information for the study, although other sources were also drawn on.
Documents in relation to the 2003 Conference on Regulation of Professional Services
In order to obtain an overall understanding of the regulation of liberal professions the Commission also invited interested parties to comment on the justification for and effects of restrictive rules and regulations in the professions. During the 2003 Conference on Regulation of Professional Services, business, consumers and practitioners discussed the justification for and effects of restrictive professional rules.
Economic impact of regulation in the field of professional services in different Member States (January 2003)
Study for the European Commission, DG Competition by Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS), Wien
In preparation for its first report on Competition in Professional Services, the Commission launched a stocktaking exercise in 2003 to consider the justification for and effects of restrictive rules and regulations in the professions. The objective was to ensure that these rules would not hamper the competitiveness of the European economy. The overall context was the goal set in 2000 by the European Council to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010 (also called the Lisbon Strategy).
The independent study found that in a large number of Member States professionals are subject to highly restrictive rules which distort competition and would be considered unacceptable in most spheres of economic activity.