The European Commission has launched a consultation on the regulation of professions. Whereas it may not be primarily targeted at health professions, many of the “smaller” health professions should pay close attention to what developments in this area. This consultation follows from the European Commission Single Market Forum conference on the reform of regulated professions (all professions, not just healthcare). Nearly 400 participants gathered in Brussels to hear the Commission’s plans to reform professions that are regulated – which account for 22% of all professionals in the EU.
See below for information from the Commission:
Over the past 2 years EU countries have been undergoing a ‘mutual evaluation‘ to screen their regulatory arrangements for professions and ensure that they are ‘proportionate’ to legitimate public interest objectives, without creating unnecessary burdens. They then had to produce National Action Plans (NAPs) outlining any changes they proposed to make so as to ensure that their regulation is as effective as possible, for both professionals and consumers. The consultation will therefore invite you to share your views on these National Action Plans. Specifically:
- On the specific changes proposed by the Member State
- Regarding any other changes that you think should be made but which were not proposed by the Member State
- Your views on if the Member State conducted a sufficiently robust review of their regulations and their effects in order to reach their conclusions when preparing their NAP.
In addition to this, in October 2015 the European Commission adopted a Single Market Strategy for goods and services where actions to develop the Single Market for services, including improving the regulation of professional services, were set out. One of the initiatives announced was the introduction of an analytical framework for use by EU countries when reviewing regulation to ensure that measures are proportionate and best suited to the risks they seek to guard against, but without placing unnecessary burdens upon professionals.
Following your responses to the NAPs we would therefore also like to ask you some further questions regarding this initiative. Specifically:
- Your views regarding the value of implementing such an analysis when regulating
- What value you think possible criteria could bring in conducting this analysis
- What impact you think such a methodology could ultimately have on the regulatory framework
For this second part, according to how you identify yourself, you will be taken to one of either two consultations: one designed specifically for those stakeholders who deal with the regulation of professions (falling under the category of public authorities), and the other for all other respondents.
This consultation will remain accessible for a 12-week period, until 19 August 2016.
Access the questionnaire
Professions across the EU, from doctors to geologists and hairdressers to tour guides, which together represent 22% of the workforce, are subject to almost 6,000 different regulations. As a result, 47 million people need some kind of authorisation, often on top of their education, to be able to do their job. Recent studies estimate that across the EU up to 700,000  more jobs could be created through regulatory improvements, so this work is important and we thank you for taking the time to respond to our questions.
This is a public consultation and all parties are invited to share their experiences, in full confidentiality should they wish (see privacy statement below).
The results will be used for:
- a report to be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council by January 2017
- country and profession specific guidance for reform
- an analytical framework proposing a more inclusive approach to proportionality assessment
Organisations must register in the Transparency Register before they begin to answer the questions. The submissions of non-registered organisations will be published separately from those of registered ones as the input of individuals.
This consultation takes place in accordance with the general framework related to the protection of personal data.
Deadline 19 August 2016