Updated: 24/05/2018

Chapter 3- Right of Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services

Chapter Content

Right of establishment and freedom to provide services is one of the four freedoms of single market (free movement of goods, services, people and capital). It generally includes industrial, craft and commercial activities and activities of the professions. 

This chapter consists of three main areas:

1-Directive regarding right of establishment and provision of services (2006/123/AT)

2-Directives regarding recognition of professional qualifications (2013/55/EU, 2005/36/AT, 86/653/AET, 74/556/AET, 74/557/AET, 98/5/AT, 77/249/AET)

3-Directives regarding postal services (97/67/AT, 2008/6/AT, 2002/39/AT)

The right of establishment and freedom to provide services are closely interrelated. The right of establishment enables to carry on an economic activity in a stable and continuous way in another Member State. The right of establishment enables persons and companies to set-up of agencies, branches or subsidiaries in another Member State under the conditions laid down for its own nationals by the law of the country where such establishment is effected .The freedom to provide services enables to offer services on a temporary basis in another Member State, without having to be established.  

In respect of the right of establishment and freedom to provide services, professional qualifications and their mutual recognition between Member States is important. EU legislation splits professions into two groups and implements two different systems.

The first group of professions is the professions for which common minimum training conditions are regulated obviously and it is obligatory to be implemented in the same way in all Member States. These are doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, veterinary surgeons, pharmacists and architects. The system of automatic recognition of professional qualification is implemented for abovementioned professions in the EU.

The second group of professions are all the professions which do not have any necessary regulations such as minimum training conditions for pursuing the profession in the EU.  Each Member State is free to compose its national legislation concerning these professions. The system of automatic recognition does not exist for these professions. If an EU citizen wants to provide services in a country other than the one in which he is trained, professional qualification of this person will be recognized by the appreciation of the related Member State.

Establisment of mechanisms like Points of Single Contact (PSC) and National Assistance Centers are also required by EU acquis in context of this Chapter. These structures allow EU citizens to find out about the rules, regulations and formalities that apply to service activities, to complete the administrative procedures online and to get their professional qualifications recognized in another member state. Member states’ own nationals can also use these services as well.

Another area in the scope of the chapter is postal services. EU acquis is related to responsibility of universal services, abolishment of the monopoly in postal services, financing of universal services and the establishment of an independent authority which is responsible for regulation and control of postal services.

Current Stage of the Negotiations on the Chapter 

As regards the 3rd chapter, “Right of Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services”, explanatory screening meeting was held on 21-22 November 2005, bilateral meeting was held on 19-20 December 2005 in Brussels. Screening Report of the Commission was finalised by 17 April 2007. In the letter of EU Presidency dated 31 October 2007, opening benchmark was set relating to the chapter.

“A detailed strategy which should include a timetable of all necessary steps in terms of legislative alignment and institutional capacity in order to comply with the acquis covered by this chapter.”

“Right of Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services” is among the eight chapters in which the negotiations were suspended due to the dispute on the implementation of the Additional Protocol. 

The Ministry for EU Affairs prepared a comprehensive technical assistance project by considering demands and needs of all relevant stakeholders in order to carry out the work with a view to fulfilling this opening benchmark on a sound basis. The Project were implemented between September 2014 and September 2016. Through this project, legislative screening and gap analyses within the scope of the alignment with the EU acquis both on the right of establishment and freedom to provide services (RoE and FPS) and on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications were carried out. Moreover, draft action plans and draft legislation text were prepared (http://hizmetlerprojesi.com/Home) .

Relevant Subcommittee Meetings

Subcommittee N° 2 Internal Market and Competition

Useful Links

For more info: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/top_layer/services/index_en.htm 

EU legislation on postal services https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/postal-services_en

Commission’s DG responsible for services sector  https://ec.europa.eu/growth/about-us_en

Screening Meetings

Explanatory Screening Meeting (21-22 November 2005)

Biletaral Screening Meeting (19-20 December 2005)

Screening Report


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