Report of the CETA Committee on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications
March 24 and 26, 2021 (by videoconference)
First round of negotiations on an Agreement between the EU and Canada on the Mutual Recognition of professional qualifications of architects
The first round of negotiations took place via videoconference on March 24 and 26, 2021. The Parties were represented by the European Commission on behalf of the European Union (EU), and by Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authority (CALA) on behalf of Canada. Representatives of Canada’s Provincial and Territorial Governments attended as observers.
Both sides discussed all elements of the draft proposal for a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between Canada and the EU for the profession of architects. Overall, the discussions were productive. A significant amount of text was agreed to and positions clarified where an agreement could not yet be reached.
The following elements of the negotiations were discussed in more detail than others:
- Canada referred to its provincial/territorial law requiring evidence of language skills when submitting a request for recognition of professional qualifications for architects.
- An essential requirement for access to the architectural profession in the EU and Canada is the proof of being of good reputation. Despite different terminology, both sides agreed that they share many of the same concepts and uniform criteria should be sought.
- Concerning the online course on domain specific competencies that EU architects would have to complete when applying for recognition, Canada agreed with the EU request to include a brief description of its main content in the MRA. Some procedural matters regarding the course also remained open. The process for a possible introduction of a similar course by the EU in the future was also touched upon.
- Both sides discussed the provisions of Article 11.4 of CETA, in particular as it relates to residency.
- Both sides discussed the process to be followed should an issue arise with the implementation or administration of the agreement.
The EU committed to work on a possible compromise text and both sides tentatively agreed to meet again for an intersessional at the end of April and for a second round in May 2021.
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