Mutual Recognition

Mutual Recognition in Europe

Description of Mutual recognition

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes mutual recognition in the following terms: [1] The principle of mutual recognition, whether of product standards or professional qualifications, is central to the operation of the single market. If each member state were to accept goods and services from the other member states as freely as domestic goods and services, the need for excessive harmonisation would fall away, and with it much of the apparatus of integration. In 1979 the Cassis de Dijon judgment of the European Court of Justiceestablished that a product lawfully made and sold in one EC country could not be prohibited, except on public health grounds, from sale in another (important though this case was, it did not, however, stem the flow of harmonising legislation that followed in the late 1980s and the 1990s).

Professional services proved a more difficult area, since not only were national qualifications jealously guarded but the regulatory systems differed from one country to the next. Nevertheless, after negotiations which in some cases, such as that of architects, took 15 years or more to complete, by 1987 doctors, vets, dentists and midwives were able, at least in theory, to practise throughout the EU, as were lawyers, architects and pharmacists. Subsequent Directives further eased the mutual recognition of all qualifications acquired after not less than three years’ training (see more in this European encyclopedia). Such discrimination as remains is generally based on creative interpretation of the exceptions permitted under Community law.


Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

See Also

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