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Newsletter July 2015

Infringement Procedures Against National Professional Regulations

On 18 June 2015, the European Commission has started infringement procedures against Austria, Cyprus, Germany, Malta, Poland and Spain. The Commission considers certain professional regulations in these Member States as not in compliance with the Services Directive. It requests these Member States to adapt their rules governing shareholding requirements and prohibitions of multidisciplinary practices (for architects and engineers in Austria, Cyprus and Malta, for patent agents in Austria) as well as repeal minimum compulsory tariffs (for procuradores in Spain, architects, engineers and tax advisors in Germany, patent agents in Poland and veterinarians in Austria). After the Letter of Formal Notice the Member States now have two months to respond to the Commission’s arguments.

The above mentioned requirements are not strictly prohibited by the Services Directive but are seen as potential obstacles to the single market in services. They can be maintained in so far as they are non-discriminatory, justified by an overriding reason relating to the public interest and proportionate, i.e. no less restrictive measure could be used.

Unfortunately in spite of a lot of counter-experience during finance and bank crisis and in spite of very opposing expert- opinions on the question if deregulation really leads to growth the European Commission - here represented by Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs - is still a firm and unwavering believer in competition at all costs. Therefore it does not acknowledge the specialities of liberal professions and does not consider regulations for the maintenance of these specialities (independence, impartiality, personal liability etc.) – that are very much for the benefit of consumers – as justified by overriding reasons of public interest.

The weighting between the destruction of long-proved reliable national professional structures for the benefit of clients / consumers / society against a vague and not seriously provable hope for growth should definitely be considered more carefully by all actors in European and national policy.

Insofar it is also very important for ECEC member organisations to be involved in the national proceedings in regard to the currently ongoing Transparency initiative – based on § 59 of the Professional Qualifications Directive – that obliges all members states to review the necessity and proportionality of their national professional regulations.

Continuing Professional Development

The 1st CPD lecture organised by the ECEC Working Group Continuous Professional Development was held on 15 May 2015 in Belgrade. This lecture on „Actions on Structures – Application of the Eurocodes 1990 and 1991-1 as daily practice“ was delivered by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rüdiger Höffer from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany as a Webinar. Engineers from many ECEC member organisations took the chance to participate. The lecture was shown in the premises of the participating national ECEC member organisations and also provided the opportunity to address questions to Prof. Höffer.

The 2nd CPD webinar will be held on 16 September 2015 by Prof. Vladimir Benko from Slovakia on the topic of “Design of reinforced concrete structures according to EN 1992-1-1”.

For further information please see the ECEC Website or contact the president of ECEC Working Group Continuous Professional Development Mr. Sumarac at: dragoslav.sumarac@ingkomora.rs.

Common Training Frameworks for Chartered Engineers

The Common Training Framework was one of the focus topics at the ECEC Executive Board meeting on 13 June 2015 in Berlin. The Executive Board has agreed that the definition of Common Training Frameworks for Chartered Engineering professions is an important chance not only for a simplification of professional recognition procedures, but also for raising the awareness of the European Commission in regard to the high level of knowledge, skills and competences necessary to execute the Chartered Engineering profession. Stressed was also the importance of the fact that this will not replace national training programmes but is a commonly defined minimum for automatic regulation.

The Executive Board decided to set up an ECEC working group on CTF – chaired by ECEC SG Klaus Thürriedl – for which the nominations of the member organisations are currently awaited. Important basis for the work will be a guidance for elaborating proposals for CTFs that was announced by the European Commission for summer 2015.

Cooperation on this topic was already agreed with the European Council of Civil Engineers (ECCE) - in a meeting of ECEC SG Klaus Thürriedl with ECCE President Wlodzimierz Szymczak on 19 June 2015 –and with the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE) after a presentation by ECEC Ceplis Delegate and CLGE Vice President Rudolf Kolbe and a discussion in the CLGE Executive Board on 27 June 2015. Also the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) has already expressed an interest in cooperation with ECEC. 

EU Symposion on „The Relevance of the EU Professional Qualification Directive for Engineers“

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On 12 June 2015, the German Bundesingenieurskammer BIngK has organized an EU Symposium titled “The Relevance of the EU Professional Qualification Directive for Engineers” in Berlin. More than 60 persons participated in this symposium, which focused on the implementation of the new Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (EU Directive 2013/55/EU).

Among the high-ranking speakers was Martin Frohn from the European Commission, who spoke about the improvements of the new Professional Qualification Directive, the European Professional Card and possible Common Training Frameworks. Representatives of the German Federal Ministries portrayed their experience and problems that have occurred in connection with the implementation of the Directive in the past. Finally, ECEC Vice-President Hansjörg Letzner provided an insight on the relevance of the EU Professional Qualification Directive in Italy.

The ECEC was represented by the President and several Executive Board members as this meeting was also an opportunity to unofficially talk to Martin Frohn about the CTF.  

ECEC Elections 2015

The new ECEC Executive Board for the three-year-period 2016 until 2018 and two auditors for a one-year period will be elected during the ECEC General Assembly in Rome on 26 September 2015.

Please be reminded that according to the ECEC internal rules of procedure candidates for elections have to send a Curriculum Vitae and a letter of nomination from their member organisation to the Secretary General until 5 weeks before the elections take place. It must be clear for which position the candidate is nominated. It has to be clarified, if the candidate is nominated for another position /other positions if he is not elected for the chosen position. These CV and letters of nomination have to be made available to all member organisations four weeks before the General Assembly meeting by the ECEC Secretariat.

You will receive more detailed information about the General Assembly and the elections 2015 per e-mail soon.

ECEC Timetable 2015

  • 18 July 2015: ECEC WG tariffs in Bratislava
  • 16 September 2015: 2nd CPD Lecture on “Design of reinforced concrete structures according to EN 1992-1-1” by Prof. Vladimir Benko
  • 25 September 2015: 50th ECEC Executive Board Meeting in Rome (17.00-20.00)
  • 26 September 2015: 12th ECEC General Assembly Meeting/Elections in Rome (10:00-17:00)