European Court of Justice Judgment in Ingegneri v Ministero della Giustizia Cavallera (C-311/06) concerning the Mutual recognition of diplomas for the Engineers’ profession under the 89/48/EC Directive.
In this case the Italian courts have sought clarification of the extent to which professional qualifications issued in Italy have to be recognised in a second Member State. The case concerned an engineer, Mr Cavallera, who studied in Italy and graduated with a mechanical engineering diploma in 1999. In 2001 the relevant Ministry in Spain certified the Italian qualification. As such, this allowed Mr Cavallera to be admitted automatically to the Catalan College of Engineers, the relevant professional body, thus allowing him to practise as an engineer there. Thereafter Mr Cavallera sought to have his qualification recognised by the Italian authorities, by virtue of Directive 89/48 on the recognition of professional qualifications. The National Council of Engineers in Italy brought an action challenging the recognition granted as the exercise of the title in Italy required that a state exam be passed and Mr Cavellera had not completed this stage of his training.
The Court declared that the mere approval by one Member State of a qualification awarded by another Member State does not constitute a “diploma”
giving access to a regulated profession in the latter state. According to the actual definition in the Directive itself, a “diploma” does not include a certificate
issued by a Member State which does not attest any education or training covered by the education system of that Member State and is not based on either
an examination taken or professional experience acquired in that Member State. The Court held that the application of the Directive in such circumstances
would be tantamount to allowing a person who has merely obtained a qualification in the Member State in which he studied, which does not in itself provide
access to that regulated profession, nonetheless to gain access to that profession. The Court held that this should not be the case where the certification of that qualification obtained elsewhere provides no evidence that the holder has acquired an additional qualification or professional experience.
The Judgement refers to the Directive 89/48, but has effect under the Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC (PQD), having replaced the former Directive. This ruling will be very helpful preventing any circumvention attempt by own nationals who are going abroad and subsequently trying to register after their return – without meeting all the requirements set for registration.
Example: Hungarian national registers in the NL and returns to HU claiming to be registred without the final Examination (post graduate and post practical experience) required by Hungary for full access to the profession.
The Section IV of the Italian Council of State relevant to the appeal of the Consiglio Nazionale degli Ingegneri against the sentence n. 10195 of the Regional Administrative Court deliberated with its sentence n. 7496 on November 30th, 2009 that the appeal of the Consiglio Nazionale degli Ingegneri shall be admitted and the Ministerial Decree concerning the recognition of the Spanish title of Mr. Cavallera (October 23, 2002) shall be repealed. Mr. Cavallera is not, therefore, enabled to enroll in the Albo