Communication on reform recommendations for regulation in professional services

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2016) 820
Publication Date 10/01/2017
Content Type


Communication published by the European Commission on 10 January 2017, setting out a number of recommendations aiming at supporting the Member States of the European Union (EU) improving national rules in professional services.

Further information:

Regulation of professional services is a prerogative of the Member States. However, a Member State is required by EU law to establish whether new national professional requirements are necessary and balanced. The particular way countries regulate a professional stems from a number of factors. A combination of these and the resulting policy assessments led to the adoption of different regulatory models.

deeper and fair internal market was identified as a priority for the mandate of the European Commission. Its 2015 Single Market Strategy unveiled the intention to issue guidance to Member States on reform needs in professional services. The aim would not be to impose directly or indirectly any particular regulatory model throughout the EU. The view is taken that regulation creates obstacles for the functioning of the Single Market and holds back the potential for growth and job creation across the EU.

This Communication aims to assist Member States with the removal of specific unjustified substantive restrictions, and to create a virtuous regulatory awareness by Member States. It identifies possibilities for improving the regulatory environment for a number of economically important groups of professional services. Reform recommendations are formulated for each Member State taking into account the specific regulatory environment in place. They are not limited to cases of violation of Union law even though some of the requirements referred to might constitute such a breach.

It comprises a comparative analysis following the work carried out since the Commission's 2013 Communication on evaluation national regulations on access to professions. It also complements the Commission's broader Annual Growth Survey (AGS) in the framework of the European Semester. The Communication was published on 10 January 2017 as part of a package aimed at improving competitiveness in the European Union's services sector.

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Related Links
EUR-LEX: SWD(2016)436: Staff Working Document accompanying the Communication - Detailed information on the assessment of regulation in professional services
European Commission: Press Release, 10/01/2017: A services economy that works for Europeans
European Commission: Memo, 10/01/2017: A services economy that works for Europeans: Questions and Answers

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