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The European architectural sector

A scientific perspective on the debate about the economic impact of different regulatory approaches in the Member States of the EU


The EU Commission – in line with its mandate given by the member states – places an emphasis on the enhancement of the internal market for services. Through further harmonization of the so-called regulated professions, the EU Commission intends to intensify the competition and simplify and strengthen the cross-border provision of services. The architectural profession belongs to this group of regulated professions. All Member States want to ensure a certain minimum quality in the field of architectural services via regulative market interventions. The reason for these market interventions is to ensure the protection of public interests – such as construction safety, consumer and environmental protection as well as cultural, historical, and artistic concerns. According to the EU Commission, such regulation hinders the internal market for services. Whilst the Commission does not urge the abolition of all regulation concerning the area of profession, it does call for a stronger harmonisation of the member states’ own relevant provisions. In order to pursue this aim, the EU Commission has recently recommended an array of measures. This research report analyses the economic observations and theses of the European Commission which state a further need for reforms in the European architectural sector.