Regulators will remember that in 2013 the European Commission had launched a study on regulated professions in the EU. The aim was to provide a comprehensive overview of regulated professions in the EU, with a view to enhance transparency. The political environment in which this took place was the relaunch of the European Single Market, aiming to boost jobs and growth in the EU. Some forms of regulation was quietly seen as barrier to freedom of establishment in other EU countries and the Commission set out to name and shame the professions who practised this.
At the time, the European Commission had explained that the main objectives of the mutual evaluation were:
1.simplification and improvement of citizens’ access to information on regulated professions;
2.commitment of EU countries to review the requirements they impose with regards to access to and pursuit of regulated professions.
Whether the Commission will achieve its objective of removing barriers to employment, I cannot tell. However, I have to commend it for the amount of information it has collected and how it is made public for everyone to see and use. The Regulated Professions Database has a wealth of information on each regulated profession, including statistics on movement of professionals across the EU, the countries of qualification etc. which will help researchers get a much better understanding of migratory flows (and/or brain drain).
After 3 years of evaluation, the European Commission is about to publish its findings during a Single Market Forum event on 18 May. See below for more information.
“The European Commission is pleased to announce that the Single Market Forum 2015/2016 – Reforming regulation of professions: results of mutual evaluation and way forward conference will take place in Brussels on Wednesday 18 May 2016. It will start at 10:00 (registration 9:30) and end around 16:30.
The conference will focus on the work EU countries have done in the last two years to review their national regulation of professions and on what they propose in terms of regulatory reform. Stakeholders will have an opportunity to discuss the follow-up measures to improve access to professions announced by the European Commission in the Single Market Strategy last October. The event will also shed light on the empirical evidence gathered to support these actions and to illustrate the importance and economic impact of regulated professions in Europe. New case studies and the analysis of the results of a recent EU-wide survey on occupational regulation will be presented for the first time and discussed in the presence of the authors and other expert economists.”
The conference is free of charge but by invitation only. More details on the programme and a link to the registration website will follow soon.
Registrations will start on Friday 8th April 2016. The deadline for registration is Monday 9th May 2016.