EU and Professional Regulation

The European Parliament: “Legal obstacles in Member States to Single Market rules” is a study requested by the European Parliaments Internal Market Committee”. The study was presented in November 2020 and tries to analyse the current state of national obstacles to free movement in the EU Single Market. Among other aspects it focuses on the question of proportionality of national rules on professional services but case studies seem to contain some misunderstandings regarding the content of regulatory frameworks. The study recommends that for the 6,000 national regulated professions, the rules ought to be assessed by external reviewers in order to ensure that they pass a proportionality test.

The EP IMCO Committee has prepared an own initiative report on “Strengthening the Single Market: the future of free movement of services” that is awaiting the Parliaments vote and also has a focus on professional regulation – for details see here.

The European Commission: On Commission level an update of the “Reform recommendations for regulation of professional services” from 2017 - that had a focus also on national regulations for engineers and was a basis for several infringement procedures - is in the process of being updated. For details and other planned measures see “Long-term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules”.

There is another study in preparation that focuses – among others – on the engineering profession. “Competition and its Economic Outcomes in Selected Business Services Professions in the EU: a Refined Methodology and a Comprehensive Empirical Assessment” was tendered by the European Commission in summer 2020.