Today, the Commission decides to refer Slovakia to the Court of Justice of the European Union for not complying with the EU rules on the recognition of professional qualifications (Directive 2005/36/EC as amended by Directive 2013/55/EU as well as Articles 45 and 49 TFEU). These rules facilitate recognition of professional qualifications in EU countries, making it easier for professionals to provide services around Europe, while guaranteeing improved protection for consumers and citizens.
Slovakia has not remedied a number of non-compliance issues despite the reasoned opinion sent in November 2019. In particular, non-compliance issues have been identified with regard to the rules on establishment (e.g. as regards compensation measures for substantial differences in training), temporary provision of services (e.g. difficulties to provide services for professionals from Member States which do not regulate the profession, prior check of qualifications beyond the limits allowed in the Directive), on coordination of minimum training conditions and on scope of activities (for architects, vets, doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives and pharmacists).
With the EU rules on the recognition of professional qualification (Directive 2005/36/EC as amended by Directive 2013/55/EU), the EU has put in place a modern system for the recognition of professional qualifications and experience across the EU. It promotes recognition of professional qualifications in EU countries, making it easier for professionals to provide their services around Europe, whilst guaranteeing an improved level of protection for consumers and citizens.
The Directive applies in general to regulated professions such as engineers, accountants, nurses, doctors, pharmacists or architects. It sets rules for temporary mobility, establishment in another EU country, various systems of recognition of qualifications, and knowledge of languages and professional academic titles.
These rules are complemented by the European professional card (EPC), an electronic certificate available since January 2016 for five professions (general care nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, real estate agents and mountain guides). The Member State that receives professionals from other EU countries is responsible for checking their qualifications or fitness to practice and, in cases of justified doubt, contacting the Member State that issued the diploma.
To facilitate and speed up this exchange of information between Member States, the Commission has put into place the electronic Internal Market Information System (IMI).
For more information
The key decisions in the October 2020 infringement package
Directive 2005/36/EC on professional qualifications