The workshop "Harmonization and mutual recognition of health professionals' qualifications in Europe - lessons from the EU, implications and policy options for the South- Eastern Europe Health Network countries (SEEHN)" will:
- increase awareness among SEEHN member states on the EU experience with the Directive 2005/36/EC, lessons learned and policy options for mutual recognition of health professional qualifications in line with EU Laws and Standards,
- discuss the role of competent authorities and professional organizations in the implementation of the EU health professionals' card and implications for the SEEHN member states
- identify common challenges and actions for mutual recognition of qualifications in the SEEHN member states and harmonizing with EU requirements.
Pursuant the European Commission's communication on "Internal Market Strategy for Services" and "New European Markets, Open to All, with Access to All", the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications.
Directive 2005/36/EC governs the recognition of professional qualifications in EU member states. For selected professions with implications for public health safety and consumer protection, additional provisions are made. The regulated professions include doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists etc. This Directive does not create an obstacle to the possibility of Member States recognizing the professional qualifications acquired outside the territory of the EU by third country nationals. All recognitions should respect minimum training conditions for the regulated professions.
The Directive 2005/36/EC also mentions the need for a European card for the mobility of professionals in Europe "…professional cards by professional associations or organisations could facilitate the mobility of professionals, in particular by speeding up the exchange of information between the host Member State and the Member State of origin. This professional card should make it possible to monitor the career of professionals who establish themselves in various Member States…". The EU professional card would be implemented in cooperation with the Internal Market Information System.
Professional mobility is important to achieve competitiveness for the single market. The mobility is affected by the recognition of professional qualifications, which in turn is influenced by the joint training requirements. In order to simplify the procedures for recognition of professional qualifications while maintaining the level of safety for the public health, the EU is encouraging the coordination of efforts between competent authorities, professional associations and education establishment (in harmony with the Bologna process on admission criteria and definitions for the content of the training) to improve the current directive during the EU Presidency of Ireland.
The improvements proposed to the Directive cover the common training frameworks; mechanisms for checking the quality of the training; language checks etc to ensure the safety of the public and of the consumers.
Recognition of health professionals' qualifications is an important issue for the Republic of Moldova, but not only.
All the member states of the South-eastern Europe Health Network (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) share the same challenges in mutual recognition of health professionals qualifications and health professionals continued professional development.
The Republic of Moldova, in the role of the SEE Health Network Presidency (Jan-Jun 2013) is leading the efforts of the SEEHN member states on human resources for health.
Three countries (Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania) have already adopted the Directive 2005/36/EC.
The other countries are in different stages of EU integration and are working hard to align their laws and regulations with EU Laws and Standards. The possibility of developing an action at the level of the SEEHN will be examined and proposal made as appropriate to the SEEHN.
The proposed workshop is in line with the provisions of the section on "Cooperation and Education, Training, Multilingualism, Youth and Sport" of the draft EU-Republic of Moldova Association Agreement.
This event will support Moldova's effort towards market access liberalization and regulatory approximation; comprehensive implementation of core EU Laws and Standards in the field of public health policy and consumer protection.
A close collaboration will be established with the WHO Regional Office for Europe, with extensive competency in the HRH area, during the organization of this work.