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Institute's thumbs up to EU's simplification of working rules

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RIBA vice-president for international affairs John Wright has welcomed the approval of reforms to European Union law, which should make it easier for British architects to work in other member states of the EU. The changes amend the existing architects' directive, which was framed to encourage the mutual recognition of qualifications within the profession gained in the EU, promoting the free movement of workers, one of the union's key treaty commitments.

Their effect will be to oblige member states to take rapid decisions on requests for recognition of qualifications, and also to underline the requirement for national authorities to take account of professional experience gained in other member states when doing so. The amendments also insist that national governments promptly update lists of architects' diplomas, certificates and titles that are automatically recognised by professional bodies across the EU.Wright said: 'There's absolutely nothing wrong with these changes. I would encourage them. The architects' directive is vital in allowing the free movement of architects across Europe.'

The changes were proposed by the European Commission as part of the EU's SLIM initiative, which is supposed to lead to the simplification of European legislation. Member states are due to implement the amendments in their national laws by January 2003.

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