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Strengthening  recognition  of  professional  qualifications  and  improved  access  to   markets   by   facilitating   recognition   –   Opportunities   for   landscape   architects   in   the  revision  of  Directive  2005/36/EC  Recognition  of  Professional  Qualifications   Dr  Joachim  Jobi,  BAK  Brussels,  Prof  Fritz  Auweck,  EFLA   The   fact   that   landscape   architects   sometimes   face   unexpected   difficulties   when   working   in   EU   countries  is  a  matter  of  common  knowledge.  We  as  landscape  architects  also  suffer  from  there  still   being   different   professional   statutes.   In   some   countries   the   profession   and   the   title   landscape   architect   are   protected,   in   others   they   are   unregulated   and   in   one   country   (France)   the   title   landscape  architect  may  not  even  be  used.  These  are  some  of  the  reasons  why  EFLA  is  supporting  the   efforts   of   the   Federal   Chamber   of   German   Architects   (Bundesarchitektenkammer),   which   also   represents  landscape  architects,  interior  architects  and  urban  planners,  in  their  aim  to  improve  the   situation.   What   brought   it   about   was   the   evaluation   and   revision   of   the   EU   Recognition   of   Professional   Qualifications   Directive   of   2005.   In   Germany   landscape   architects   at   the   Federal   Chamber   of   German   Architects   joined   up   with   interior   architects   and   urban   planners   in   2010   to   form   a  working  group  which  was  to  look  into  the  opportunities  and  potential  of  sustainable  improvement   of  the  EU-­‐wide  recognition  of  professional  qualifications.  It  soon  became  clear  that  change  can  only   be  accomplished  in  cooperation  with  the  European  professional  associations.     The   German   working   group,   comprising   the   representative   office   of   the   Federal   Chamber   of   German   Architects   in   Brussels   (Dr   Jobi)   and   the   European   professional   associations   [EFLA   (landscape   architects),   ECIA   (interior   architects)   and   ECTP   (urban   planners)]   have   been   working   together   since   the   spring   of   2010.   EFLA   is   represented   by   Fritz   Auweck,   who   is   also   a   member   of   the   national   working  group.     An  elaborate  study  on  European  educational  standards  in  the  three  disciplines  and  the  structure  of   the  profession  as  well  as  the  obstacles  to  mobility  in  the  27  EU  member  states  and  the  countries  of   the  Council  of  Europe  was  completed  in  spring  2011.  The  recorded  data  was  systematically  analysed   (see   Table:   EFLA_Prof_Recogn_Database_Final)   and   defined   by   a   joint   position   paper   including   concrete   proposals   for   the   improvement   and   acceleration   of   the   recognition   of   landscape   architects,   interior   architects   and   urban   planners.   These   documents   were   presented   and   elucidated   at   the   European  Commission  (Directorate  General  Internal  Markets  and  Services)  in  spring  2011.   The  endeavour  to  improve  recognition  and  consequently  access  to  other  markets  is  embedded  in  the   EU  Commission’s  present  considerations  regarding  the  revision  of  Directive  2005/36/EC  Recognition   of   Professional   Qualifications,   which   are   fundamental   to   this   matter.   From   autumn   2010   to   spring   2011   the   directive   was   evaluated   and   public   consultation   took   place   at   the   level   of   national   professional   associations.   In   some   countries   the   public   authorities   hosted   information   events.   At   these  events  the  landscape  architects  stated  their  position  and  demanded  better  recognition  at  the   European   level.   The   problem   during   this   stage   was   that   in   many   countries   mainly   architects’   associations   were   consulted   without   including   landscape   architects.   The   so-­‐called   Green   Book,   published  on  22  June  2011,  contains  the  findings  of  evaluations  and  consultations  and  is  the  first  to   offer   concrete   options   for   the   updating   of   the   Recognition   of   Professional   Qualifications   Directive.   This  takes  the  revision  process  of  the  Directive  into  its  critical  phase.     The  proposals  are  listed  in  the  Green  Book  and  cover  the  following  issues:  

Amendment   of   the   regulation   on   joint   platforms   –   The   Commission’s   proposals   aim   at   substantially   improving   recognition   of   certain   professions   under   the   general   scope   of   the   directive   and   bring   it   more   into   line   with   automatic   recognition.   This   proposal   provides   an   important   and   promising   approach   for   improved   recognition   of   landscape   architects   who,   like   interior   architects   and   urban   planners,   fall   under   the   above   mentioned   general   scope   of   recognition   in   accordance   with   the   Recognition   of   Professional   Qualifications   Directive.   The   Commission  proposes  the  following  amendments:     o Lower   the   threshold   for   establishing   a   platform   of   presently   two-­‐thirds   to   one-­‐third   of   the  member  states  (i.e.  9  out  of  27)     o Support   of   the   platform   not   only   by   professional   associations   but   also   by   at   least   nine   member  states   o Opportunities  for  other  member  states  to  join  the  platform  later   o The  Commission  is  to  review  and  approve  the  platform.       European   professional   certificate   –   the   Commission   intends   this   to   be   facultative   and   mainly   applied   under   the   general   scope   of   the   Recognition   of   Professional   Qualifications   Directive   in   cases  where  services  are  rendered  temporarily  in  another  EU  member  state.  The  Commission’s   concept   determines   that   the   only   feasible   authorities   to   issue   certificates   are   the   professional   associations  –  this  also  applies  when  the  profession  is  not  regulated  in  the  country  of  origin,  in   which  case  a  relevant  public  authority  must  be  assigned.  The  professional  certificate  is  to  simplify   and  accelerate  the  procedure  of  gaining  recognition  in  other  EU  countries.    

Further   to   the   above   points   and   in   conjunction   with   the   publication   of   the   Green   Book   the   EU   Commission  has  requested  fresh  comments  on  the  concrete  proposals  made  in  the  Green  Book.  The   landscape   architects   will   put   forward   their   ideas   at   the   EU   Commission   –   not   only   in   written   form   stating  their  own  professional  politics,  but  also  in  direct  dialogue  with  the  Commission.  This  will  be   achieved   through   the   Federal   Chamber   of   German   Architects’   offices   in   Brussels   in   talks   with   members  of  the  European  parliament  and  the  responsible  officials  at  the  Commission’s  Directorate   General  Internal  Markets.  At  the  national  level,  this  autumn  is  the  right  time  to  approach  members  of   the   European   parliament   and   national   governments   who   are   fully   involved   in   the   law-­‐making   procedure   for   the   revision   of   the   Recognition   of   Professional   Qualifications   Directive.   We   will   be   providing  information  about  concrete  recommendations  for  the  national  professional  associations.     The  decisive  meeting  with  the  EU  Commission,  which  the  Brussels  offices  of  the  Federal  Chamber  of   German   Architects   and   the   presidents   of   EFLA,   ECIA   and   ECTP   as   the   German   umbrella   organisations   for   the   three   disciplines   will   attend,   is   imminent.   The   Commission   has   already   announced   that   a   first   draft  of  the  amended  Recognition  of  Professional  Qualifications  Directive  will  be  presented  by  2012   and   the   entire   revision   procedure   for   the   directive   finalised   by   2014.   Under   the   direction   of   the   Brussels   offices   of   the   Federal   Chamber   of   German   Architects,   EFLA   will   be   actively   involved   in   further  discussions  and  the  development  of  the  Recognition  of  Professional  Qualifications  Directive.   EFLA’s  Professional  Practice  Committee  will  be  included  in  the  process.  These  discussions  are  vitally   important  to  all  professional  landscape  architects  and  we  will  provide  updates  on  the  discussions  as   well  as  on  the  work’s  progress.   Brussels  /  Munich  04.08.2011  

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