Follow-up to the Action Lines for Bolstering the Business of Liberal Professions
Question for oral answer O-000080/2015
to the Commission
Antonio Tajani, Andreas Schwab, on behalf of the PPE Group
Evelyne Gebhardt, on behalf of the S&D Group
Dita Charanzová, Reinhard Bütikofer
Liberal professions are characterised by the fact that they provide personal, independent and intellectual services and require high-level professional qualifications to serve the interests of the client and the public. According to the Commission, liberal professions contribute significantly to the EU economy. They benefit society by serving the public interest in areas such as health, justice and security, and are a driver of innovation and jobs, and thus an important tool for fostering recovery from the economic and social crises that many Member States are experiencing. The European legislative framework affecting liberal professions is subject to specific professional regulation and oversight by professional bodies at national level and includes the Professional Qualifications Directive 2013/55/EU and the Services Directive 2006/123/EC. The Commission has fully recognised in recent years the entrepreneurial potential of liberal professionals. Similarly, Parliament has always emphasised and acknowledged their paramount importance.
In 2014, within the framework of the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, a working group entitled ‘Bolstering the Business of Liberal Professions’ was set up with a view to assessing the specific needs of liberal profession entrepreneurs, such as simplification, internationalisation and access to finance. At the Conference on Liberal Professions of 9 April 2014 the working group presented its action lines, namely: (1) Education and training for Entrepreneurship; (2) Access to markets; (3) Access to finance; (4) Reduction of regulatory Burden, and (5) Strengthening representation and participation at European level.
In the light of this, can the Commission explain what the next steps are as regards the activities of the working group and the action lines presented? Is there a roadmap for the implementation of these action lines?
According to the working group, a stronger inclusion of liberal professions into the work of the Commission should be planned. How does the Commission intend to achieve this?
At the same time, the Commission is mapping regulated professions and professionals’ mobility across the Member States. How does the Commission assess the current situation?
What legislative or non-legislative initiatives regarding liberal professions in general are to be expected in the coming years?