EU votes for freedom of movement

Fears have emerged that European bureaucracy could hinder efforts to allow
qualified accountants to work anywhere in the EU.

The concern follows a European parliament vote that approved the recognition
of professional qualifications directive, which brought together 15 existing
proposals on accounting qualifications. The directive is aimed at improving the
free movement of professionals across EU borders while simplifying the system.

‘With this directive, we will inaugurate a new era for professionals
migrating within our internal market,’ said internal markets commissioner
Charlie McCreevy. However, Allen Blewitt, chief executive of ACCA, foresaw
problems with red tape despite welcoming the directive in principle .

‘One area we would be worried about is this mega-European committee to assess
all professional qualifications,’ said Blewitt. ‘It sounds like a log-jam. It’s
hard to see how you can create a committee to do that effectively for the whole
of Europe.’

He suggested a system where the EC would accept recognition of qualifications
by the Professional Oversight Board for Accountancy ‘rather than creating
another level of Eurocrats’.

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