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Spain

Economista (Spain)


  • Proportionality information

    1. Have you examined whether the requirements under your national legal system are
    directly or indirectly discriminatory on the basis of nationality or residence?
       

    There are no discriminatory rules under the national legal system. Within the Ministry of Economy an internal commission is competent for the examination and recognition of professional qualifications of any European professional who seeks access to the profession and use of the title of economist.


    2. Which of the following overriding reasons relating to the general interest justifies the measure(s)?
         
    • Protection of consumers and recipients of services
    •    
    • Prevention of fraud
    •    
    • Protection of creditors

    3. What specific risks or benefits have you identified that your measure(s) is designed to, respectively, minimise or maximise?

       Please try to be specific in describing the nature of the risks/benefits you have identified
       Where you have selected more than one overriding reason relating to the general interest in question 2 please be sure to address each of these in your response. Wherever possible please include evidence.

       

    1/ Protection of customers and recipients of services: Ensure the adequate qualification of the professional in the interest of customers and an ethical exercise of the profession based on the code of ethics approved by the professional association. The aim is to maximize better quality of services. 2/ Prevention of fraud: Economists acting as insolvency administrators use their expertise to detect fraudulent operations in complex insolvency procedures. 3/ Protection of creditors: Economists acting as insolvency administrators use their expertise to guarantee the proper management of a company in insolvency and the due satisfaction of the creditors’ claims. This involves insolvency procedures taking place in court, where it is necessary to maximize legal security in the whole proceedings.


    4. How specifically do your measures operate to minimise the risk(s) or maximise the benefit(s) identified in question 3?

       When addressing this question please try to explain how the measures prevent the risks or guarantee the benefits.
       Where you have selected more than one overriding reason relating to the general interest in question 2 please be sure to address each of these in your response. Wherever possible please include evidence.

       

    1/ Compulsory membership to the professional association (“colegio”): The professional association is entitled as public authority to exercise disciplinary functions. It also provides continuous training for their members. In this sense, the registration in the professional body is aimed at maximizing better quality of services and minimizing the unethical exercise of the profession. 2/ Insolvency administration as reserved activity: Insolvency regulation requires a degree (alternatively with other shared qualifications) and sufficient experience to act as insolvency administrator. The multidisciplinary knowledge of the economist seeks to minimize management risks within this activity. The reserved activity pursues, in this sense, the due satisfaction of the creditors’ claims, to prevent fraud and to maximize legal security in insolvency proceedings.


    5. In so far as you are able, please provide information that you have gathered regarding the concrete effects of the measure(s).

       For example, through impact assessments or information gathered during implementation or review of a measure. Member States who have recently undergone reforms may in particular be able to contribute helpfully to this field. Where you are able to provide cost-benefit analyses this would be particularly valuable.
       Information on whether the measures indeed successfully prevented risks from being realised (e.g. the number of sanctions imposed, a drop in transgressions since the measure was introduced or consequences from previous modifications of the regulation) would equally be helpful.
       Where you have selected more than one overriding reason relating to the general interest in question 2 please be sure to address each of these in your response. You may also wish to include evidence on consumer satisfaction or other measurements of the impact.

        The membership to the professional association contributes to reduce costs to the Public Administration and to safeguard the sound administration of justice, given that the professional organization, which is entitled to act as public authority, supervises the ethical exercise of the profession, offers training and prepares the lists of experts for insolvency procedures.

    6. Is the general interest objective you indicated in question 2 pursued in a consistent and systematic manner?.

       In approaching your response to this question please consider examples where you have addressed similar risks for comparable professions, not necessarily within the same sector. Is the approach you have adopted in this particular profession comparable or distinct from such similar cases and why?

       The objectives to be pursued may be comparable with other professionals in Spain which are regulated due to the technical knowledge of their fields of activity and the need to protect the interests of recipients of services, creditors and other parties in insolvency proceedings, to supervise financial legality and regularity of the activities undertaken by private and public entities and to prevent fraud. That is, for example, the case of auditors, actuaries and lawyers. The restrictions to access to these professions include, for instance, reserved activities, protected title and compulsory registration in the professional body.

    7. Please explain in how far the degree of complexity or the nature of the activities
    which are reserved justify that these activities can be exclusively performed by professionals possessing a specific professional qualification?

       For example: when the tasks are essentially of a straightforward nature (such as preparing and printing pay slips etc.), or involve essentially the execution of instructions, specific professional aptitudes should not be required.

       Insolvency proceedings are a complex mechanism that comprises a procedure allowing for the restructuring or liquidation of companies and other legal entities as well as individuals. A key figure in the whole procedure is the insolvency administrator, who is responsible for a very broad range of functions that require a deep knowledge in many fields (insolvency regulation, labour regulation, management, judicial proceedings, accountancy, etc.). Therefore, the role of insolvency administrator must be taken over by qualified professionals in order to protect the interests of all parties in the procedure – debtors, creditors, employees, etc. –.

    8. Where you have indicated several measures in place in the screening tab,
    have you reviewed the cumulative effect of all these measures on professional activities?

       If not, why not?
       If yes, please outline for us how you approached assessing this issue as well as the results and conclusions or any learning you drew from this. Where possible please include evidence.

       

    The cumulative effect of the measures has been reviewed in the framework of a legal reform project on professional services, which included a hearing with the professional organizations. The conclusions of the assessment are described in the following questions.


    9. Have you considered the use of alternative mechanisms to achieve your objective(s)?
         
    • Reduce the scope of reserved activities
    •    
    • Other, please specify

       Please briefly explain. Where you have selected more than one option, please be sure to address each of these in your response.

       

    1/ Voluntary membership to the professional association: The government has considered amending the regulation by establishing a voluntary registration system in the professional association (“colegio”) in order to remove professional costs linked to the compulsory membership, while the association maintains its public interest functions. This would require formal legal initiative. 2/ Scope of the reserved activities: One of the latest amendments of the insolvency legislation envisages the approval of new rules regarding the requirements to become insolvency administrator. The aim is to open up the number of professionals (degrees and diplomas) that may act as insolvency administrator, provided that they pass a new mandatory exam and are registered in the Public Register of Insolvency Administrators. This would require formal legal initiative.


    10. Conclusion

       Following your internal examination of this regulated profession, which of the following have you concluded?

    •    Remove current system and replace with alternative

       Explain where relevant:

       

    1/ Protected title: Only members of the professional association (“colegio”) are entitled to use the title. This measure could be reviewed. 2/ (Shared) Reserve of activity in insolvency administration. Insolvency law provides that only economists, “titulados mercantiles”, lawyers and auditors with a certain number of years of experience and demonstrable knowledge on insolvency matters may act as insolvency administrators. Due to the protected title, the members of the professional body are exclusively qualified for this activity. 3/ Limited compulsory membership to the professional association. As a consequence of the two above mentioned measures, membership to the professional organization is compulsory for a person with the degree in economics or business administration who is interested in working as insolvency administrator. The insolvency regulation envisages the approval of new rules regarding the requirements to become insolvency administrator. The aim is to open up the number of professionals (degrees and diplomas) that may act as insolvency administrator. The rules could include a mandatory exam and the compulsory membership to the Public Register of Insolvency Administrators.


    11. Any other comments?
       No further comments
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