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Parliamentary questions
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18 October 2019
Answer given by Ms Bieńkowska on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002580/2019

The minimum training conditions for nurses responsible for general care are harmonised under Directive 2005/36/EC, as amended. It allows for two training paths, university (or equivalent) and/or vocational level. Each Member State decides how many training paths it offers and ensures that these comply with the minimum conditions. The evidence of formal qualifications listed in point 5.2.2 of Annex V to the directive(1) must be automatically recognised in other Member States.

Under the directive, the recognition of qualifications by the host Member State shall allow beneficiaries to gain access to the same profession as that for which they are qualified in the home Member State. Beneficiaries shall be allowed to pursue the profession under the same conditions as nationals of the host Member State. The professions are considered the same if the activities covered are comparable.

General care nurses, fully qualified in another Member State, should have their requests to access further training in the host Member State assessed individually based on their merits, while respecting the general principle of non-discrimination as enshrined in Article 18 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. It is settled case-law(2) that, while the Member States remain in charge of the content and organisation of vocational training in their respective territories(3), they must set non-discriminatory access conditions for all EU citizens. If a foreign-trained nurse meets the criteria set by Belgium, access to further training should not be denied.

For the specific case referred to by the Honourable Member, the Commission does not have sufficient details to assess it. The citizen may contact the local information centre(4) or the Solvit network(5) for assistance.

(1)Which satisfies the minimum conditions under its Article 31
(2)Relevant case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union: Judgment of the Court of 13 July 1983, Forcheri v Belgian State, C-152/82, ECLI:EU:C:1983:205, paragraphs 17-18; Judgment of the Court of 13 February 1985, Françoise Gravier v City of Liège, C-293/83, ECLI:EU:C:1985:69, paragraphs 15 and 25
(3)Article 166(1) of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union

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