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Directive 2005/36/EC – policy developments

With Directive 2005/36/EC the EU has reformed the system for recognition of professional qualifications, in order to help make labour markets more flexible, further liberalise the provision of services, encourage more automatic recognition of qualifications, and simplify administrative procedures.

On 20 October 2007, at the end of the transposition period, this Directive has replaced fifteen existing Directives in the field of the recognition of professional qualifications, providing the first comprehensive modernisation of the EU system since its introduction over 40 years ago.

But continued efforts are necessary in order to maintain the dynamism created by this Directive. The current system must be evaluated periodically in order to verify whether full use has been made of all the opportunities offered by Directive 2005/36/EC. The system must also take account of the considerable changes that have occurred in the Member States’ educational and training systems.

For this reason the Commission has conducted a major evaluation of the 2005 Directive, has consulted stakeholders and has finally proposed a revision of the Directive in December 2011.

The European Parliament and the Council adopted the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive – 20.11.2013

On 20 November 2013, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Directive 2013/55/EU amending Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. The Directive was published in the Official Journal on 28 December 2013 and entered into force 20 days after its publication (i.e. on 17 January 2014). The transposition period is of 2 years (to be implemented by 18 January 2016).

The European Parliament votes in favour of the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive – 09.10.2013

On 9 October 2013, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Commission legislative proposal for modernising Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications.

Communication on the evaluation of regulated professions – 02.10.2013

On 2 October 2013 the Commission has adopted a Communication on evaluating national regulations on access to professions. The Communication presents a work plan for carrying out the mapping and mutual evaluation of regulated professions foreseen in the revised Professional Qualifications Directive. The mutual evaluation will cover the restrictions linked to the access to regulated professions (qualifications requirements and the activities reserved to the holders of the required qualifications). A Staff Working Document on the outcome of the peer review on legal form, shareholding and tariff requirements under the Services Directive is accompanying this Communication.

Proposal for modernising the Professional Qualifications Directive – 19.12.2011

On 19 December 2011, the Commission has adopted a legislative proposal for modernising Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. This modernisation is one of the twelve levers for growth set out in the Single Market Act and aims at further facilitating mobility of professionals across the EU.