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Recognition of professional qualifications

EU citizens, nationals of EEA countries (Island, Liechtenstein and Norway) and of Switzerland can pursue a “regulated profession” in Italy after obtaining the recognition of their diploma or professional qualification.

The EU Directive 2005/36EC of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications defines the ‘regulated profession’ as the professional activity or group of professional activities, access to which, the pursuit of which, or one of the modes of pursuit of which is subject, to the possession of specific professional qualifications.

In Italy the recognition of professional qualifications is regulated by Legislative Decree No 206 of  6 November 2007, through which Italy has transposed the said Directive.

By Legislative Decree No 15 of 28 January 2016, Italy then transposed Directive 2013/55/EU updating the previous Directive 2005/36/EC and introducing new rules to facilitate the free movement of professionals within the EU.

Each Member State is free to regulate access to and practice of a regulated profession and to set related requirements, so long as national rules comply with the principles of non-discrimination, proportionality and necessity.

The list of regulated professions in Member States, EEA countries and in Switzerland is available on the European Commission website, including also competent authorities.

Directive 2005/36/EC establishes provisions for the recognition of professional qualifications in case of establishment in other EU country and of temporary mobility.

As for establishment in another EU country, in Italy EU professionals are allowed to practise their profession permanently after obtaining the recognition of their diploma or professional qualification issued in another EU country.

As for temporary mobility, they can provide services temporarily upon written preliminary declaration.

Finally, Directive 2013/55/EU has laid down that five professions (pharmacist, physiotherapist, general care nurse, mountain guide and real estate agent) may have their qualification recognised both for establishment and temporary mobility by applying for the European Professional Card (EPC).

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