Regulation of Professions: Preview of the Commission

June 17th, 2016 § 0 comments

On 16 June 2016, the European Commission published an inception impact assessment paper on the ‘Regulation of professions: proportionality test’, noting that:

◊ excessive regulatory barriers to professional entry have negative consequences for job creation, productivity, mobility and the consumer;

◊ the ‘mutual evaluation exercise of regulated professions’ – introduced by the Professional Qualifications Directive – evidences broad variations in appreciation of what is proportionate and necessary in the proper pursuit of public interests;

◊ a legally binding instrument represents a comprehensive legislative solution at EU level setting up an EU-wide methodology for assessing the necessity and proportionality of national regulations in the professions. The methodology to be used by Member States when assessing national regulations could cover the following aspects:

  • Identification of the overriding reasons relating to the general interest which justify the measure;
  • Identification and assessment of the nature of the risks to consumers, to professionals or third parties, including in particular whether and why the existing rules (such as consumer protection law) are inadequate to protect the public interest;
  • Assessment of the necessity of requiring possession of specialised skills and training and assess specifically the level, the nature and the duration of the training required as well as the existence of different routes to obtain the qualification;
  • Analysis of the scope of practice and the reserves of activities and assessment of the effects on the public interest objectives pursued;
  • Estimating the economic impact of the proposed regulation including a consideration of market impacts on such variables as e.g. wages, employment, competition and demand;
  • Analysis of the alternatives to regulation or less restrictive regulation (such as protected title, voluntary certification schemes,etc.);
  • Assessment of the cumulative effect of restrictions to both access to and exercise of the professional activities.

The European Commission also issued a Roadmap on the ‘Guidance on reforms needs for Member States in regulation of professions’.

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