The introduction of a professional card closely linked to the Internal Market Information System (IMI) could make it considerably easier for professionals to have their qualifications recognised in another member state. A professional card issued by a recognised body in the professional’s home country could then allow the professional to demonstrate his/her credentials (having the necessary qualifications, being authorised to practise) to consumers, employers and relevant authorities in another member state.
Comments are sought on how to help people in those professions where there is no automatic recognition, for example by developing sets of commonly agreed criteria for professional qualifications. They could also be used to reduce differences in training requirements.
The minimum training requirements of certain professions (eg some health professions and architects) could be reformed. Adjustments to the duration and content of training, as well as changing the requisite language skills for health professions could be necessary. They will not be increased for other professions.
Clarification of the rules on language knowledge
A change to the requisite language skills for health professions could be necessary. Currently, the directive requires that any linguistic requirements must be proportionate with respect to the activities of a professional: a distinction in language ability can be drawn, for example, between a doctor undertaking research in a laboratory and one treating patients. The document therefore asks whether a particular case could be made for increasing the language controls on health professionals who treat patients. The paper also suggests considering either building on the existing Code of Conduct by interpreting the directive (and allowing language tests in exceptional circumstances) or amending the existing provisions in the directive.
The primary aim of this is to make it easier for EU citizens to find work outside their own country. It is one of the twelve "levers for growth" proposed in the Commission’s Single Market Act (IP/11/469).
Today's paper follows a report on how the Directive works in practice (IP/10/1367) and a first technical-level public consultation launched in January 2011 (IP/11/14). A final evaluation report will be published by the end of June.
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