The European Parliament on Wednesday called for European Union countries to recognize each other's national job qualifications to allow EU citizens to practice their profession without restrictions in all 25 member states.
The parliament voted in favor of a report asking the member states to establish common minimum professional standards and proposed introducing EU-wide individual professional cards that would contain information on the worker's career, allowing for a quick exchange of information between the country of origin and the host country.
Currently, EU member states impose restrictions on many professions, especially medical and legal fields. For exaple, an experienced Czech doctor isn't allowed to work in France other than as an intern.
The report covers all salaried and freelance professions, including those that have up until now been regulated, such as doctors, nurses and architects, but excludes notaries and some public administration jobs.
An EU national wishing to practice a profession will be subject to the same requirements as nationals of the host country.
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Charlie McCreevy welcomed the parliament's vote, saying the directive will improve the free movement of workers.
"The adoption of this directive will highly contribute to skills' mobility and brings us closer to the objective of a more competitive Europe," he said.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969