Reform of Spain's profesional services market: Implementation of the EU Services Directive
Ciarreta Antuñano, Aitor
Espinosa Alejos, María Paz
Zurimendi Isla, Aitor
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Ciarreta, A., Espinosa, M.P and A. Zurimendi. "Reform of Spain’s profesional services market: Implementation of the EU Services Directive" SEFO - Spanish Economic and Financial Outlook, Vol. 3, N.º 4 (July 2014)
The implementation of the European Commission Services Directive initiated the modernization process of services markets within the European Union. The objective was to guarantee the creation of a single market by ensuring the freedom of establishment and circulation. The transposition of the Directive in Spain triggered an initial wave of reforms in the Spanish legal system. A second package of reforms is currently underway, following recommendations by the EC, IMF and OECD, which highlight the relative lack of competition in Spain’s services as one of the major imbalances in its economy, alongside the public deficit and unemployment. Both the implemented and planned reforms represent a major step forward. Nevertheless, the government has recently announced modifications to the draft bill of the Professional Services and Associations Law, which is expected to soon be submitted for parliamentary debate and approval. Taking into consideration modifications already introduced, together with anticipated further changes, it will be important to maintain the main points of the draft bill and to introduce a deeper review of the legal framework for professional services, of the professional associations themselves, and for the activities that are subject to compulsory membership within a professional association. Spain’s territorial map of professional associations must too be redrawn.