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Commission asks Greece to end discrimination against workers with qualifications from other Member States

22/03/2012 A group of young students

The European Commission has requested Greece to recognise professional qualifications acquired in other Member States and end discrimination against holders of post-graduate diplomas obtained in other Member States.

On the grounds that some non-Greek universities do not provide undergraduate studies, Greek rules refuse to recognise some post-graduate diplomas acquired in other Member States as equal to those originating from Greek universities.

By contrast, the Greek authorities do recognise post-graduate diplomas acquired at universities based in Greece. This results in indirect discrimination in the Greek labour market against those EU citizens holding such diplomas issued from other Member States.

The Commission considers that an incorrect evaluation or the refusal to take into consideration a post-graduate diploma obtained in another Member State, leads to discrimination with regard to employment purposes, and in particular to working conditions, including professional benefits such as promotion, as required by Article 45 TFEU and, by analogy, by the judgment of the EU's Court of Justice in case C-586/08. The condition therefore breaches EU law on free movement of workers.

The request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures. Greece now has two months to reply. If the reply is not satisfactory, the Commission may decide to refer Greece to the EU's Court of Justice.