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Parliamentary questions
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17 July 2017
Answer given by Ms Bieńkowska on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-002281/2017

Article 165(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union deals with academic recognition of diplomas and study periods abroad for the purpose of further study. The situation in question however concerns the recognition of professional qualifications(1) and should be examined under Directive 2005/36/EC(2).

Where a professional qualification grants access to a regulated profession in a Member State but the training that is needed to acquire the qualification has been received in the territory of another Member State, specific rules on franchised education apply. Article 50 of the directive foresees the possibility for the host Member State to verify the validity(3) of the qualification with the home Member State (4) in case of justified doubt. The Italian authorities can therefore request further information from the Hungarian competent authorities on the status of the degree in physiotherapy(5).

Competent authorities of the Member States involved are obliged to use the internal market Information System (IMI) for all correspondence with regard to individual recognition requests. They must examine applications as soon as possible and issue a dully substantiated decision within three months after the date on which the (complete) file was submitted by the applicant(6).

The issue at hand concerns a possible wrong application of the directive in individual case and does not raise issues of wider principle such as a general practice indicating a problem of compliance of national legislation with EC law or of a systematic failure to comply with EC law(7). In such cases, the Commission would not, as a general rule, initiate infringement proceedings but will direct complainants to the national level or to the Solvit network(8).

(1)Obtained by a Hungarian university to practice the profession of physiotherapist in Italy. In the case of physiotherapists, the directive foresees a general system of recognition that compares the level of qualification between Member States and allows for compensation measures to be imposed by the Member State in which access is being sought.
(2)Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the recognition of professional qualifications, OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 22.
(3)The host Member State can verify whether the training course has been formally certified by an educational establishment of the home Member State, whether the qualification is the same as in case the course would had been followed entirely in the home Member State and whether the qualification gives the same professional rights in the home Member State.
(4)The Member State where the qualification was awarded.
(5)Awarded as result of a franchised education arrangement between an Italian and a Hungarian educational establishment.
(6)Article 50(3b) and 51(2) of Directive 2005/36/EC.
(7)Communication from the Commission: EC law: Better Results through Better Application, 13 December 2016, OJ 2017/C 18/02, p. 15.
(8)Solvit is a service provided by the national administrations of the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway with the aim to solve complaints regarding the wrong application of EC law.

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