PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS : MEPS DIVIDED OVER HARMONISATION OF TRAINING.

Position:Members of parliament
 
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While the text on the recognition of professional qualifications proposed in December 2011 by the European Commission received a positive reaction from MEPs, it is still cause for much concern, as demonstrated by the first debate at the European Parliament, on 28 February. The most recurrent concerns include the system of the professional card, linguistic competences, partial access and the number of regulated professions. The idea of an EU framework for common training also causes problems for some professions, notably for nurses.

"This is a key text for the future of citizens, we must therefore have a vision for the next 20 to 30 years, and above all stand firm against corporatist, or even protectionist tendencies," rapporteur Bernadette Vergnaud (S&D, France) said at the beginning of the session. She then reviewed the most controversial proposals on the issue. The professional card has had a positive evolution: "From the hue and cry that it caused at the start, most professionals are now favourable to the implementation of the text on condition that the voluntary aspect of this approach is stressed," the rapporteur explained. As for linguistic competences, MEPs are nearly unanimously agreed over the fact that tests must be carried out to complement the recognition of qualifications by the competent academic authorities, but that they should in no way constitute an obstacle to mobility. Partial access to training will be very closely monitored by MEPs as it is causes hostility in some professions. Above all, it must be redefined, much more precisely, in order to clarify exactly to whom and in what conditions it applies. "Partial access should not constitute a condition that restricts mobility but should allow the acquisition of a complementary training so that foreign professionals can better adapt to the needs of the host country," said Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D, Germany)...

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