On 2 October 2013, European Commission started off an evaluation of national regulations on access to qualified professions. The aim is to smooth out differences between Member States.
Regulated professions are jobs, which require specific qualifications, such as pharmacists, architects, and lawyers. Reports of European Commission state that restrictive conditions discourage young people to work in qualified professions in other Member States. Loosening unreasonable national controls could increase EU-wide employment and strengthen economic growth.
As a first step, each Member State will have to make a list of professions. The European Commission will publish it as a European map, which will show which professions are regulated in which countries. Secondly, Member States will (over the next 2 years) compare their lists to examine the barriers preventing access to professions.
European Disability Forum (EDF) is the European organisation representing the interests of 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe. EDF endeavours to ensure persons with disabilities full access to fundamental human rights in Europe by their involvement in policy implementation. EDF works closely with the European institutions, the Council of Europe and the United Nations.
In 2011, EDF made a Top Campaign on the theme “Freedom of movement”. This campaign focussed on the freedom of movement of persons, including goods and services within the European Union. The aim is remove the main barriers to freedom of movement that persons with disabilities face daily.
Free movement is mentioned in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in the Internal Market section:
2. The internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties.
Furthermore, Article 45 states:
Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Union.
Persons with a disability will never be able to work abroad as easily as others can, unless society becomes more accessible. Deaf persons have the same right to live, study, work, and establish themselves in another Member State of the EU. There are however, still barriers for Deaf people to enjoy the same rights of free movement as other EU nationals. For instance, the right to a sign language interpreter in another EU Member State is still not guaranteed, especially in the area of higher education and employment. The full and equal functioning of the internal market of the EU must be pushed forward, also in the area of trade. As part of the European Union’s efforts to implement the UNCRPD, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Commission has promised an ambitious European Accessibility Act, which EUD strongly supports. EUD urges the European Commission to launch the Act and to continue breaking down barriers for Deaf people in the area of employment to ensure a fully inclusive Europe.
European Disability Forum (EDF) Freedom Guide: