Growth

Policy developments

Policy developments

To reform the system of recognition of professional qualifications in the EU and simplify the related administrative procedures, the EU adopted the Professional Qualifications Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC). The directive was amended in 2013 by Directive 2013/55/EC.

Benefits of the directive

Directive 2005/36/EC brings:

  • a comprehensive modernisation of the EU system for recognition of professional experience;
  • helps make labour markets more flexible;
  • further liberalises the provision of services and promotes automatic recognition of professional qualifications in EU countries.

Modernisation of the directive

The Professional Qualifications Directive was modernised in 2013, when the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted Directive 2013/55/EU, amending Directive 2005/36/EC. The transposition period is two years (to be implemented by 18 January 2016).

For more information on policy developments on professional qualifications recognition, visit the legislation section.

Governance

Regulatory committee

A Committee on the recognition of professional qualifications assists the European Commission when needed in helping implement the directive in EU countries.

Group of Coordinators

The group of coordinators aims to:

  • help national authorities and the Commission work together better;
  • monitor policies related to qualifications for regulated professions;
  • exchange experiences and good practices in the recognition of qualifications.

Members of the group are appointed by national authorities and the Commission chairs the meetings. For more information and reports from the meetings, visit the page of the group.

Cooperation between EU countries

  • National authorities may also use the IMI system to facilitate cooperation with each other when considering the recognition of professional qualifications.
  • National authorities decide whether to recognise professional qualifications obtained in other EU countries. They need to follow the common rules set out in the Code of Conduct (3 MB).

Enforcement

Professionals who have problems getting their professional experience recognised, may contact the SOLVIT network, national courts and public authorities, or as a last resort, complain to the Commission.

Learn more about infringement cases and ways to assert your rights in the enforcement section.

If you think a particular country’s legislation or administrative practices violate EU law, you can address a complaint in writing to the European Commission.

European Professional Card

The European professional card (EPC) aims to make the free movement of professionals in the EU easier. The card should simplify the recognition of professional experience, enhance transparency for EU citizens and increase trust among authorities across the EU.

Learn more about the European Professional Card.

Share