Proposed Proportionality Test Directive should respect national sovereignty and ensure consistency in healthcare exemptions.
On 10 January 2017, the European Commission published an ambitious legislative package aiming at boosting the European services sector, thus completing the Single Market. Part of this legislative proposal is the “Proportionality Test Directive”, which suggests a proportionality assessment of national rules on professional services before legislative action is taken in a Member State.
Whilst the Commission’s intention to ensure a coherent and consistent approach across EU Member States is welcomed, it should be emphasised that the regulation of professions is a national prerogative. What is considered “proportional” can vary from one country to the other, and it is important that the criteria remain flexible enough to ensure national specificities of a profession can be taken into account.
It is also vital to ensure that this proposal does not come as an additional barrier or at the detriment of public health, freedom of movement or efforts made by professional groups across Europe to achieve a recognition of their profession.
The position paper outlines several recommendations for the EU institutions to consider in their deliberations.