EU countries asked for clarification of the status of regulated professions in the EU. At their request, the European Commission agreed to conduct a transparency exercise and a mutual evaluation exercise. The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of regulated professions in the EU.
To have a comprehensive overview of regulated professions in the EU and conditions to access these professions, EU countries agreed to conduct a transparency and mutual evaluation exercise between 2014 and 2016:
The main objectives of the transparency and mutual evaluation are:
To enhance transparency for EU citizens, the Commission set up a database that allows citizens to learn more about professional access requirements across the EU. In the context of this exercise, the list of regulated professions was updated and new information was added. An interactive map was also created where citizens can easily visualise which professions are regulated by country, and the distribution of regulated professions by economic sector.
The Commission launched the process of the mutual evaluation, setting out a method to take this work forward and a timetable for delivering it in the 2013 Communication, 'Evaluating national regulations on access to professions'.
To complete the mutual evaluation by Spring 2016, the regulated professions were grouped into two clusters:
For each cluster, 6 professions were chosen as examples of different regulatory approaches for discussion.
Reports are published after a consultation process with all countries. The following reports are available:
Part of the legal obligations to be fulfilled by EU countries when putting into force the revised Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC, is the submission of reports presenting the outcome of their proportionality assessment of the regulation of professions, and the identification of any need for reform. The deadline for complying with this requirement was 18 January 2016.
These reports, or national action plans (NAPs) as they were called in the Communication, ‘Evaluating national regulations on access to professions’ are now available for a majority of EU countries. The list of national action plans will be updated whenever the Commission receives a new report.
Stakeholders can react to these reports by taking part in the public consultation, ‘Regulation of professions: proportionality and National Action Plans’ till 20 August 2016.
On the 18 May 2016, a conference took place in Brussels where participants could discuss these action plans and interact with experts on the economic impacts of reforms in regulated professions.
On 2 October 2013, the Commission adopted the Communication on evaluating national regulations on access to professions. It presents a work plan for the mapping and mutual evaluation of regulated professions foreseen in the revised Professional Qualifications Directive. The Communication released, together with a Staff Working Document on the outcome of the peer review on legal form, shareholding and tariff requirements under the Services Directive.