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Broad consensus in health and social care community on exemption of health professions from Proportionality Directive



On 18 October 2017, in a meeting hosted by MEP Lieve Wierinck and MEP Dr Peter Liese, the Council of European Dentists (CED), the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) and the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) brought EU and national stakeholders together to discuss ‘Economics vs Health? An EU Proportionality Test for Health Professions’.


The debate looked at the impact of the proposal for a Directive on a proportionality test before adoption of new regulation of professions on health professions. MEP Lieve Wierinck opened the debate by stating “Proportionality is a general principle of EU law and must be respected. I believe that nobody that has come to the European Parliament today challenges this principle. When it comes to strengthening legislation and enhancing the functioning of the internal market and all the freedoms that it entials, I am one of its biggest fans." Remy Petitot intervened on behalf of MEP Françoise Grossetête to present the ENVI Opinion on this dossier which excludes health professions, he highlighted that “healthcare professionals have a public mission to patients” and “they are also one of the most mobile professions in the European Union today”.


“Since the publication of the proposal, CED, CPME and PGEU have called for an exemption of health professions from the scope of a future Directive. We very much welcome this opportunity to discuss our position with other stakeholders including the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament”, CED President Dr Marco Landi stated. 


“The three organisations believe that there is no evidence that the application of a binding EU proportionality test will generate any benefits with regard to the health professions,” Dr Jacques de Haller, President of CPME argued, “but we do fear that there are potential risks to healthcare, for example the danger of creating regulatory chill. We warmly welcome the Opinion of the ENVI committee, which supports our call for an exemption.” 


PGEU President Rajesh Patel MBE, concluded “Health professions are subject to a proportionality assessment by competent authorities already now. Instead of introducing an additional layer of EU legislation, the European Commission should focus on enforcing the implementation of the Professional Qualifications Directive where necessary.”


Note to editors: 

The Council of European Dentists (CED) is a European not-for-profit association representing over 340,000 dental practitioners across Europe through 32 national dental associations and chambers in 30 European countries. Established in 1961 to advise the European Commission on matters relating to the dental profession, the CED aims to promote high standards on oral healthcare and dentistry with effective patient-safety centred professional practice, and to contribute to safeguarding the protection of public health. The CED is registered in the Transparency Register with the ID number 4885579968-84. 


The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) represents national medical associations across Europe. We are committed to contributing the medical profession’s point of view to EU institutions and European policy-making through pro-active cooperation on a wide range of health and healthcare related issues. 

  • We believe the best possible quality of health and access to healthcare should be a reality for everyone. 
  • We see the patient-doctor relationship as fundamental in achieving these objectives. 
  • We are committed to interdisciplinary cooperation among doctors and with other health professions. 
  • We strongly advocate a ‘health in all policies’ approach to encourage cross-sectorial awareness for and action on the determinants of health. 


The Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) is the association representing community pharmacists in 33 European countries. In Europe over 400.000 community pharmacists provide services throughout a network of more than 160.000 pharmacies, to an estimated 46 million European citizens daily. PGEU’s objective is to promote the role of pharmacists as key players in healthcare systems throughout Europe and to ensure that the views of the pharmacy profession are taken into account in the EU decision-making process.


For more information contact:
CED Brussels Office
Tel: + 32 2 736 34 29

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