The Working Group on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications met for the 7th time in Sarajevo on 7 May 2018. The meeting was jointly organized by Education Reform Initiative of South East Europe (ERI SEE), Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) and Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Representatives of the Western Balkans Six agreed to open the negotiations on mutual Recognition Agreement of professional qualifications for Doctors of Medicine, Dentists, Architects and Civil Engineers in construction.
The Recommendation stipulates that the respective Governments appoint negotiation teams, as well as the Lead Negotiator and the Deputy Lead Negotiator and the aim is for this process to complete by the end of 2019, with the Agreement reached. This is one of the requirements of the Mobility Agenda of the Multi-Annual Action Plan on Regional Economic Area (MAP REA) for the Western Balkans, endorsed by the region’s Prime Ministers at the Trieste Summit July 2017. Among other things, MAP REA foresees removing obstacles to mobility of professionals through regional mutual recognition agreements of professional qualifications in sectors of mutual interest.
Professional qualifications are defined as formal qualifications attested by evidence, an attestation of competence issued by a competent authority and pursuant to legislative, regulatory or administrative provisions, in line with the definition of professional qualifications provided in the European Union’s (EU) Directive on Professional Qualifications.
The JWG on MRPQ further recommends establishing a Database on mobility of professionals compatible with the EU Database on mobility of professionals in line with the EU Directive on Recognition of Professional Qualifications and within the present Recommendation offers recommendations to the respective governments on establishing the Database.
Joint Working Group on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications was set up in July 2015 under the auspices of the RCC, in accordance with the goals and priorities stipulated by the South East Europe 2020 Strategy (SEE 2020), led together with SEE 2020 Dimension Coordinators – Central European Free Trade Agreement Structures (CEFTA) and Education Reform Initiative of South Eastern Europe (ERISEE).