As current infringement procedures against liberal professional regulations in several member states show, the European Commission is still very determined about professional deregulation.
Nevertheless, slowly but steady signs of rethinking are visible on different levels: More and more economists contradict the deregulatory approach of the Commission and the circulated number on growth potential. Finally, resistance is also noticeable in politics, as for example the proposal of the German Bundestag “to co-create the European Commission Transparency Initiative - to maintain reliable standards in trade and in the liberal professions” clearly shows.
The German Bundestag requests the Government to consider arguments to protect professional regulation – including the German HOAI - and the resulting high quality services of the liberal professions when drafting the National action plan required by the European Commission’s Transparency Initiative, which is based on the Professional Qualifications Directive.
This proposal very clearly stresses and explains the importance of maintaining high quality professional standards. It will hopefully give an example to other member states and also make the European Commission rethink some of their approaches.