Sectorial Directive

Sectorial Directives in Europe

Sectorial Directives in the free movement of professionals in the European Union

Note: see information on Recognised Legal Professions in Europe.

Co-ordination and Mutual Recognition of Training

Typically the sectoral directive came in pairs. Firstly training was co-ordinated so that there was a common minimum level of training, then the qualifications meeting those requirements were listed. Those holding listed qualifications are entitled to have them recognised in the other Member States.

Establishment and Services

The directives also deal with matters relating to establishment and the provision of services and thus additionally have rules on recognising things such as “good character” and so on which are frequently required prior to being granted practice rights.

For example, the medical and allied professions (see below)

Professions covered by sectoral directives

The sectoral directives emanating from Article 47 co-ordinate professional training and cover the following professions:

Doctors (general practice and specialists)
Nurses (general care)
Veterinary surgeons

Article 47 is a key article of the Treaty as regards the mutual recognition of qualifications. It is this Article that provides the legal basis for EC legislation covering the mutual recognition of diplomas.

The EC legislation came in three distinct waves. Firstly there were a series of transitional directives, secondly a series of sectoral directives and finally the current phase of general directives. It is the general directives that cover the professions of “lawyer”.

Medical and allied professions

The medical and allied and pharmaceutical professions were considered relatively similar in the range of their activities and, as Article 57(3)EC indicates that the “abolition of restrictions shall be dependent upon co-ordination of the conditions for their exercise in the various Member States”, they received early attention and most of the medical and pharmaceutical professions have their own specialised sectoral directives.

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