|Last week the IMCO committee of the European Parliament voted on their amendments to the Commission’s proposal for a proportionality test directive. This is a significant step as IMCO is leading on this file for the Parliament and it can be expected that the IMCO position will become the Parliament position in plenary.
The compromise amendments made by IMCO include health professions in the scope of the directive. But it made concessions to take into consideration the special nature of health services.
- Recitals 12(b) and 20(b) which make reference to patient safety
- Article 4(5) which states “With regard to the regulation of healthcare professions, having health and patient safety implications, Member States shall be granted a margin of discretion that is sufficient to ensure a high level of human health protection. To that end, Member States shall take into consideration the acquis communautaire, in particular with regard to the specific nature of the professions providing healthcare services, as recognised by the European legislator and case-law of the Court of Justice“.
- Article 6(1a) which repeats “With regard to the regulation of such professions, Member States shall have a margin of discretion that is sufficient to ensure a high level of human health protection“.
- Article 6(4) which drops the reference to “the cumulative effect” and replaces it with “the likely effects of new or amended provisions, […] bearing in mind the fact that such effects might be positive as well as negative“.
These compromise amendments have to be adopted at plenary level in the Parliament and then the Council will have to agree to them too. This new position is quite close to the Council’s and, I believe, acceptable to the European Commission – so I would expect that the amendments will end up in the final text.