Binnenmarkt, Industrie, Unternehmertum und KMU

Liberal professions

Liberal professions

The liberal professions include lawyers, notaries, engineers, architects, doctors, dentists and accountants, amongst others. They all require special training in the arts or sciences, and their activities are usually closely regulated by national governments or professional bodies. The services they provide are very important for European businesses and consumers. The European Commission seeks to identify the main challenges these professionals face and help create an environment where they can further develop their skills.

Main challenges faced by liberal professions

  • education and entrepreneurial training
  • access to markets
  • reduction of the regulatory burden, including the need for clearer and simpler rules governing professions
  • access to finance
  • lack of representation and participation at the European level.

European Commission actions

Liberal professions in the EU are eligible for support in different areas:

Bolstering the Business of Liberal Professions

The needs of liberal professions were addressed in the Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2020 that established a working group 'Bolstering the Business of Liberal Professions' in 2013. The main aim of the group is to help overcome the challenges faced by liberal professions.

The final report of the Working Group was finalised in December 2015: 'Action lines for liberal professions - Final report of the Working Group' (207 KB)

Supporting documents