Free movement of services: infringement proceedings against Estonia and Portugal


The European Commission has decided to pursue infringement proceedings against Estonia and Portugal in the area of free movement of services. The Commission will refer Portugal to the European Court of Justice over its rules on the provision of construction services. The Commission will also formally request Portugal to amend its rules on the provision of estate agent services. Finally the Commission will formally request Estonia to amend its rules on the recognition of medical prescriptions by pharmacists. These formal requests take the form of "reasoned opinions", the second stage of the infringement procedure laid down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty. If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
Portugal construction services

The Commission has decided to refer Portugal to the Court of Justice under Article 226 of the EC Treaty over its rules on the provision of construction services, which are considered to infringe Article 49 of the EC Treaty. Construction service providers wishing to render temporary services in Portugal have to fulfil the same requirements as for establishment. The Commission considers that these obligations are incompatible with the freedom to provide services guaranteed in Article 49 of the EC Treaty.

Portugal estate agent services

The Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Portugal under Article 226 of the EC Treaty in view of its rules on estate agent services and real estate brokerage firms. The rules in force require providers of such services from other Community countries to meet all the requirements necessary for establishment, even if the services are only of a temporary nature, with no distinction being made between establishment and temporary provision. The failure to make such a distinction infringes Article 49 of the EC Treaty. Furthermore, the obligation to provide exclusively estate agent and real estate brokerage services is disproportionate to Articles 43 and 49 of the EC Treaty.

Estonia medical prescriptions

The Commission has decided to send Estonia a reasoned opinion under Article 226 of the EC Treaty in view of its rules prohibiting the recognition of medical prescriptions made out by medical practitioners who are qualified to act in their Member State of establishment but are not registered in Estonia. The Commission takes the view that the provisions in question restrict both the freedom of health professionals to provide services and patients' rights and are contrary to Article 40 of the EC Treaty.

The latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/community_law/index_en.htm



Published on: 2008-06-26



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