The European Parliament has approved a new European Union (EU) directive
that allows the mutual recognition of professional qualifications between
The legislation covers accountants, lawyers, engineers, psychologists, real
estate agents and other regulated professionals. It liberalises existing
general and sector-specific EU rules.
Importantly, the directive will allow any EU citizen who is legally
established as a professional in their home state to provide services ‘on a
temporary and occasional basis’ elsewhere in the EU under their original
professional title, without having to apply for recognition of their
qualifications. But they would have to follow local rules protecting clients
For the health professions, advance declarations would have to be made to
the member states concerned, which in some cases could mean registration.
The proposal will now be debated at the EU Council of Ministers, which was
called upon by EU internal market commissioner Frits Bolkestein to swiftly
approve the proposals.
He said: "Enhancing the freedom of movement of qualified persons will
mean more opportunities for those people, more choice for those who use their
services and wider dissemination of good professional practice."
For gaining permanent status in another EU country, the proposal introduces
a more flexible and automatic procedure, drawing on rules created by Europe’s