The Commission has urged nine Member States to remove excessive and unjustified obstacles to cross-border activities.

As part of its November infringements’ package, nine countries, including Belgium, Germany and Italy, were requested by the European Commission to remove excessive and unjustified obstacles to the provision of services, which are contrary to the Services Directive.

The objective of the Directive is to realise the full potential of services markets in Europe by removing legal and administrative barriers to trade.

Contrary to the Directive however,Spain was found to have minimum compulsory tariffs and multidisciplinary restrictions for the legal profession of “Procuradores”, ie land and business registrars and legal representatives. Likewise, action has been taken against Germany for its minimum and maximum tariffs for architects and engineers and against Denmark for its authorisation/compulsory certification requirement for certain construction services.

Cyprus, Germany and Hungary have been referred to the European Court of Justice after failing to remove their respective barriers to the provision of services despite receiving a formal notice followed by a formal request to comply with EU law (otherwise known as a ‘reasoned opinion’) from the Commission.

The nine Member States now have two months to notify the Commission of measures taken to remedy the situation.