Information regarding the recognition of professional qualifications and the unfolding crises in Ukraine 2022

Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine which started on the 24 February 2022, the European Union is facing an unprecedented inflow of people fleeing from the war and seeking protection. The number of people displaced from their homes and forced to flee Ukraine has reached some four million. In its communication ‘European solidarity with refugees and those fleeing war in Ukraine’ of 8 March 2022, the Commission outlined the substantial support the EU had made available to help people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the Member States receiving them. This includes direct humanitarian aid, emergency civil protection assistance, support at the border, as well as a clear legal status allowing those fleeing the war to receive immediate protection in the EU.

In its communication ‘Welcoming those fleeing war in Ukraine: Readying Europe to meet the needs’ of 23 March 2022 the Commission sets out measures to help people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to ensure they can effectively access their rights. The measures include not only immediate ones to provide shelter, humanitarian aid and access to healthcare, but also action to ensure that people are smoothly integrated into the host countries and have access to education, housing and jobs. This applies to qualified individuals who need to practice a specific profession in one of the EU Member States where they are taking shelter.

If a Member State has opted to regulate a specific profession, people enjoying temporary protection will need first to obtain recognition of their professional qualifications to engage in employed or self-employed regulated activities in that profession. Depending on the specific Member State, this can include for example different groups of health, teaching, legal, social or crafts professions. The recognition of third country nationals’ professional qualifications takes place at national level, applying the law and procedures of the host Member State unless international agreements apply. For ease of reference all interested individuals can access the full list of regulated professions in Malta through this link.

More specifically, Directive 2005/36/EC does not apply to third country nationals including those enjoying temporary protection. It contains rules for recognition of third country qualifications held by EU citizens. It imposes an obligation on Member States to not recognise any qualification held by EU or non-EU citizens relating to the professions listed in Title III, Chapter III, unless the minimum training conditions set out in that chapter are fulfilled. These professions are: doctors, certain specialised doctors, nurses responsible for general care, dental practitioners, veterinary surgeons, midwives, pharmacists and architects. Nevertheless, all Ukrainian nationals in possession of Ukrainian qualifications can contact the pertinent Maltese competent authority for the specific regulated profession in order to receive the necessary assistance and information to obtain the authorization to practice their profession within the legal framework in place.

All interested parties can also contact the MRC Unit for information and for further guidance on the following e-mail address – mutualrecognition@mfhea.mt

More detailed information will be made available as events unfold.