We feel that this must lead the EU institutions to re-think their approach to national professional regulations, in particular those that are conceived in order to maintain high standards in both ethics and quality of work delivered to the citizen, our patient and client. Risking the quality of the outcome of the work of liberal professionals because of a will of deregulation as an ultimate goal, the benefits of which on activity and employment have not been proved, must stop immediately. Europe is a knowledge-based economy that needs to enhance and not diminish its professional excellence.
There is a need for more highly qualified Liberal Professionals in the EU
EU citizens should be encouraged to turn only to their qualified professionals for every question relevant to their expertise. CEPLIS strongly believes that the EU institutions must fund public awareness campaigns aiming at explaining to the public that only qualified professionals can provide responsible information on issues related to their field.
We also request EU financially support to Member States in order to enable them to recruit necessary staff to keep up with health services and to ensure timely services to patients who were unable to be examined during the confinement.The provision of the EU Directive on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications establishing Common Training Frameworks (CTF) in order to facilitate freedom of movement of professionals whilst keeping away “the bad apple” is also relevant in this case. (CTF) ensures same standards of training, education and professional ethics within a profession across all EU countries. We urge the EU to fast track the process of establishing Common Training Frameworks.
Liberal Professionals must always have the means to protect themselves whilst exercising their tasks
Professionals must have always access to means of protection and sometimes receive necessary training and technical support in order to perform their tasks with the minimum level of health risks for them and their clients or patients. Liberal Professionals of all sectors must be helped to overcome the post-confinement crisisThe measures to support and revive the economy at European level must explicitly include liberal professional enterprise, which is too often forgotten.European professional organisations should also be included in these measures.Moreover, several liberal professionals do not form part of SME's but are self-employed. Therefore, funds should be accessible to them as well and the process of applying for them should be simplified for these individuals who do not have their own staff.
The liberal professions welcome the fact that the recent European strategy in favor of SMEs published by the European Commission on the 10th of March reflects an awareness of this difficulty. More information nevertheless must be given about existing programs such as access to finance and the said programs must be promoted by the Members States.Support measures – such as the possibility for “short-time work” that is currently available in many EU Member States and partly covers personnel costs for a limited duration of time – against the termination of employment contracts need to be open to liberal professionals and their employees. We expect the SURE system (Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency) to provide replacement income for the most affected liberal professionals and partial unemployment measures for employees in our field.
The next EU Budget must support Liberal Professional SMEs and promote entrepreneurship, innovation and digitalization in our sector
The next EU budget must be able to support the investment and innovation efforts of liberal professionals SMEs, in particular to ensure the necessary ecological and digital updating.The liberal professions call for the rapid implementation of measures in favor of States, private companies and job protection based on the 540 billion EUR plan approved by the national finance ministers on the 25th of April.
In addition, they expect the €750 billion recovery plan proposed by the Commission on 27 May and submitted for the approval of the States that it reinforces, among others the economic dynamism of small and micro-enterprises, and in particular liberal professional businesses. CEPLIS requests from the European institutions a clear support to small liberal professions by grants and very affordable loans; a support to entrepreneurs who engage new staff or who do not terminate existing labor contracts; and a support to mobility of labor forces for sectors in need by an increased flexibility of the applicable rules.
Strengthening the role of Liberal Professional Representative Bodies within the social dialogue
Strengthening the role of Liberal Professional Representative Bodies as important Social Partners that can contribute to societal needs and therefore should to be involved in all democratic processes of consultation prior to any new legislation will be an important measure proving that we have learned something from the crisis.This is why we call for the formal recognition of CEPLIS as a Social Partner representing the liberal professions’ sector so that our voice can be taken into account in the construction of solutions to the crisis but also for the development of a stronger and ever-closer Union.