Implementation of the Professional Qualifications Directive and the need for reform in professional services

February 1st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

On 18 January 2018 the European Parliament adopted the Resolution on the Implementation of the Professional Qualifications Directive and the need for reform in professional services (2017/2073(INI)).

Resolution in available in all EU languages (here).

The Resolution highlights the need for a better implementation of Directive 2005/36/EC and issues already stressed in the CCBE Training conference in December 2017. In particular, the European Parliament:

  • Highlights the need not only for an effective regulatory framework in the EU and the Member States, but also for effective and coordinated policies aimed at supporting professionals in the EU and strengthening competitiveness, innovation capacity and the quality of professional services in the EU;
  • Stresses that professionals can exercise regulated professions either as natural persons or as legal persons in the form of a professional company, and that consideration from both perspectives is important when implementing new policies; in this light, is convinced that economic tools should be combined with policies aimed at strengthening entrepreneurship and human capital in the professional services;
  • Calls on the Commission and the Member States, together with professional organisations in their respective areas of competence, to follow up adequately the recommendations of the Working Group on Bolstering the Business of Liberal Professions;
  • Highlights the importance of education, skills development and entrepreneurial training in order to ensure that professionals in the EU remain competitive and able to face the transformational changes that are affecting the liberal professions as a consequence of innovation, digitalisation and globalisation; stresses the close connection between the knowledge of a professional and the quality of service provided; notes the important role that should be played by higher education and research institutions in this regard, including through digital literacy projects;
  • Points out that better comparability of the level of professional qualifications is needed in order to increase the homogeneity of the evidence of formal qualifications across the EU and thus create a more level playing field for young graduates entering the professions, thereby facilitating their mobility across the EU;
  • Notes that scientific progress, technological innovation and digitalisation have a considerable impact on the professional services, bringing new opportunities for professionals but also challenges for the labour market and the quality of services;
  • Welcomes the acknowledgement by the Commission of the need to reflect on the impact of new technologies on professional services, especially in the legal and accounting sectors, where procedures could be improved; notes in particular that close attention needs to be paid to the consequent risks for service recipients, including consumers, of such a transformational change, who must not be excluded from new technologies;
  • Stresses that new technologies will be unlikely to replace human beings in making ethical and moral decisions; points out, in this regard, that rules on the organisation of professions, including rules on supervision by public bodies or professional associations could play an important role and contribute to the more equitable sharing of the benefits of digitalisation; notes that in certain areas market-driven mechanisms such as consumer feedback can also contribute to improving the quality of a particular service;
  • etc.

Summary of the Resolution.

Today the European Commission launched consultation on the future of European judicial training

February 1st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

On 1 February 2018 the European Commission launched consultation on Training of justice professionals on EU law.

This consultation is open to all citizens and stakeholders interested in the future of European judicial training. The replies will be taken into account when evaluating the 2011 European judicial training strategy and when designing the new European judicial training strategy for 2019-2025.

In 2011, the European Commission adopted a long-term strategy on European Judicial Training which sets specific objectives for the training of justice professionals to be reached by 2020.

European judicial training covers the training of justice professionals on all EU legislation, including EU judicial cooperation instruments as well as the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Union’s core values such as the rule of law.

The justice professionals are the practitioners involved in the justice system such as judges, prosecutors, court staff, bailiffs or enforcement officers, lawyers, notaries, mediators, legal interpreters and translators, court experts, prison management and staff, probation officers.

The questionnaire is accessible in English, French and German. Contributions may be submitted in any of the official EU languages. This public consultation is complemented by a targeted questionnaire addressed to the main stakeholders (EU-level training providers for justice professionals, EU-level representatives of justice professions and EU-level associations of justice professionals).

Consultation period: 1 February 2018 – 26 April 2018.

The Training Committee of the CCBE as usual will provide its contribution.

European Court of Human Rights judgement on discrimination regarding the right to education

February 1st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

In the case of Enver Şahin v. Turkey (application no. 23065/12), the Court found that there had been discrimination concerning the right to education owing to the inability of the applicant, a paraplegic person, to gain access to the university buildings for the purposes of his studies owing to the lack of suitable facilities (a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights, read in conjunction with Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 (right to education)).

The Court found in particular that the Government had not demonstrated that the national authorities, and in particular the university and judicial authorities, had reacted with the requisite diligence in order to ensure that Mr Şahin could continue to enjoy his right to education on an equal footing with other students.

Firstly, a proposal by the rector’s office to provide a person to assist him had not been made following an assessment of Mr Şahin’s actual needs and an honest appraisal of the potential impact on his safety, dignity and independence. Secondly, the domestic courts had not ascertained whether a fair balance had been struck between the competing interests of the applicant (his educational needs) and of society as a whole.

Furthermore, they had omitted to look for possible solutions that would have enabled the applicant to resume his studies under conditions as close as possible to those provided to students with no disability, without imposing an undue or disproportionate burden on the administration. press-release