The professional card included in the European Commission's proposal for a modernised directive on the recognition of professional qualifications (COM 2011/883) presented on 19 December 2011 was unanimously well-received by the actors concerned. Conversely, the other provisions are proving much more controversial. The main innovation of the directive is the introduction of a European professional card to facilitate administrative procedures for professional migrants as well as for authorities.

The professional card will take the form of an electronic certificate. The responsibility is handed over from the host member state to the state of departure, which will issue the card. The latter will have to verify that the applicant does in fact hold the relevant qualifications and the right to practice, as well as confirming the authenticity of his diplomas. The patients' associations, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) and the Conseil Europeen de l'Ordre des Medecins (CEOM) welcome this news and are particularly pleased that this new system uses more electronic tools and is fully part of the Internal Market Information (IMI) system.

The Commission's other proposals include adding a new concept: partial access'. The aim is to address situations where the profession does not cover the same activity in different countries. One example is the job of kindergarten teacher, which is a fully-fledged separate profession in Germany, while in the Netherlands it covers...

To continue reading