French statement attempts to redefine EU Directive

Prior to an EU meeting, French ministry of sports’ representative takes written position contrary to EU law to protect French monopolistic situation.

In order to try to save their monopolistic position in terms of sports qualification and diplomas, French ministry of sports’ representative, on behalf of French authorities makes a statement in full contradiction with Directive 2005/36/EC. Such behavior, consisting in openly acting against EU principles is not only unacceptable from French officials but indeed highly detrimental to EU citizens from all over the EU.

Directive 2005/36/EC determines the way EU professional qualifications and diplomas should be recognized in order to allow their holders to work in another EU Member State. As a consequence, it facilitates mutual recognition, mobility across the EU and access to the EU work market for over 4.500 regulated professions.

In France, teaching sporting and active leisure activities is a regulated profession.

This means that prior to working as a kayak, climbing or ski instructor, EU citizens should hold a qualification and proceed to a declaration with the view to get their qualification(s) recognized by the competent authority.

Failing to do so exposes EU citizens to up to 1 year in jails and 15.000 euros fine.

The paradox in France is that the competent authority in charge of recognizing EU active leisure and sporting qualifications is the Ministry of sports, who also happens to have the monopoly of certification for most of those qualifications!

The latter obviously means that every time the French Ministry of sports is recognizing an EU qualification which gives its holder automatic right to work in France, it also recognizes the training provider that delivers the qualification, that is to say it’s own competitor in the ludicrous closed French market of qualification certification.

In these circumstances,French ministry of sports has absolutely no incentive to recognize other EU qualifications …

Indeed, this situation is the same as if “Renault” French carmaker was in charge of granting German car maker “Mercedes” the authorization to sell its cars in France … It would most probably end up being quite “awkward” for “Mercedes” to sell cars in the French market and would most probably end up in court and in the hands of DG Comp for blatant anti-competitive behavior.

Since the Directive has now been fully transposed into French law and in an attempt to answer the increasing number of qualifications that French administrative Courts are now forcing the Ministry of sports to recognize, it’s EU representative recently wrote a statement indicating that from now on, French ministry would consider that having a qualification recognized would not automatically lead to the right of working in France: this, of course, is contrary to the Directive.

Consequently, EC-OE has written a letter to the Commission to inform them of this situation and get further explanations on such an unacceptable position.

More information:

Access the EC-OE letter to the Commission: Click here


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