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Judgment of the Court (Fourth Chamber) of 8 April 1992. - Gerhard Bauer v Conseil National de l'Ordre des Architectes. - Reference for a preliminary ruling: Conseil d'appel d'expression française de l'ordre des architectes - Belgium. - Recognition of evidence of formal qualifications in architecture. - Case C-166/91.



European Court reports 1992 Page I-02797



Summary

Parties

Grounds

Decision on costs

Operative part

Keywords



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Free movement of persons ° Freedom of establishment ° Freedom to provide services ° Architects ° Recognition of diplomas and evidence of formal qualifications ° Diplomas and evidence of formal qualifications enabling the holder to take up activities in the field of architecture by virtue of established rights ° Minimum length of the education and training

(Council Directive 85/384, third subpara. of Art. 11(a))

Summary



Introducing transitional measures for the recognition of diplomas and evidence of formal qualifications governing access to activities as an architect by virtue of established rights, third subparagraph of Article 11(a) of Council Directive 85/384 on the mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications in architecture including measures to facilitate the effective exercise of the right of establishment and freedom to provide services, must be interpreted in such a way that education and training which lasts four years and which includes two integrated practical semesters, supervised by the teaching institution, must be regarded as four years of studies.

Parties



In Case C-166/91,

REFERENCE to the Court under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty by the Conseil d' Appel d' Expression Française de l' Ordre des Architectes (Francophone Appeals Committee of the Association of Architects) for a preliminary ruling in the proceedings pending before that court between

Gerhard Bauer

and

Conseil National de l' Ordre des Architectes (National Council of the Association of Architects)

on the interpretation of Article 11 of Council Directive 85/384/EEC of 10 June 1985 on the mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications in architecture, including measures to facilitate the effective exercise of the right of establishment and freedom to provide services (OJ 1985 L 233, p. 15),

THE COURT (Fourth Chamber),

composed of: P.J.G. Kapteyn, President of the Chamber, C.N. Kakouris, M. Diez de Velasco, Judges,

Advocate General: M. Darmon,

Registrar: D. Triantafyllou, Administrator,

after considering the written observations submitted on behalf of:

° Mr Gerhard Bauer, by I. Igartua Arregui, of the Madrid Bar,

° the National Council of the Association of Architects, by Yvon Hannequart, of the Liège Bar,

° the German Government, by E. Roeder, Regierungsdirektor at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, acting as Agent,

° the Italian Government, by Oscar Fiumara, Avvocato dello Stato, acting as Agent,

° the Commission of the European Communities by E. Lasnet, Legal Adviser, and P. van Nuffel, of its Legal Service, acting as Agents,

having regard to the Report for the Hearing,

after hearing the oral observations from Mr Bauer, the National Council of the Association of Architects, represented by Mr Moises, of the Brussels Bar, the German Government and the Commission at the hearing on 20 February 1992,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 25 March 1992,

gives the following

Judgment

Grounds



1 By judgment of 19 June 1991, which was received at the Court on 26 June 1991, the Conseil d' Appel d' Expression Française de l' Ordre des Architectes (Francophone Appeals Committee of the Association of Architects), having its seat in Brussels, referred to the Court for a preliminary ruling under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty a question on the interpretation of Article 11 of Council Directive 85/384/EEC of 10 June 1985 on the mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications in architecture, including measures to facilitate the effective exercise of the right of establishment and freedom to provide services (OJ 1985 L 223, p. 15).

2 That question was raised in proceedings between Mr Bauer and the Conseil National de l' Ordre des Architectes (National Council of the Association of Architects).

3 Mr Bauer, who is of German nationality and who resides in Belgium, applied to have his name entered on the Register of the Association of Architects for the province of Brussels. He holds a diploma awarded by the Department of Architecture of the Fachhochschule of Stuttgart on 9 February 1989 on completion of four years of study, which included two practical semesters (Praxissemester) in accordance with the Law governing the Fachhochschulen of the Land of Baden-Wuertenberg. Mr Bauer' s application was rejected by the Council of the Association of Architects for the province of Brussels.

4 Mr Bauer appealed against that decision to the Francophone Appeals Committee of the Association of Architects. The National Council of the Association of Architects intervened in the action in support of the Association of Architects for the province of Brussels.

5 Mr Bauer contended before the Appeals Committee that he should benefit from the provisions of Chapter III of the directive (Articles 10 and 11) which introduced transitional rules for Community nationals who commenced their studies during the third academic year at the latest following notification of the directive (August 1985). Mr Bauer also considered that the studies attested to by his diploma constitute full-time studies and entitle him to recognition of his diploma in Belgium on the basis not only of Article 11 but also of Article 4 of the directive.

6 According to the Appeals Committee, the case raises the issue whether or not the studies attested to by Mr Bauer' s diploma amount to "four years of studies" within the meaning of Article 11 of the directive, when those studies include two integrated practical semesters which do not amount to a year of theoretical study but to compulsory practical exercises.

7 The Francophone Appeals Committee of the Association of Architects therefore asked the Court to rule on the following question:

"Must the third subparagraph of Article 11(a) of the directive be interpreted in such a way that education and training which lasts four years and which includes two integrated 'Praxissemester' , supervised by the 'Fachhochschule' of Stuttgart, must be regarded as four years of studies?"

8 Reference is made to the Report for the Hearing for a fuller account of the facts of the case, the procedure and the written observations submitted to the Court, which are mentioned or discussed hereinafter only in so far as is necessary for the reasoning of the Court.

9 As a preliminary matter, it should be noted that pursuant to Article 10 of the directive, each Member State is to recognize the diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications, referred to in Article 11, awarded by other Member States to the nationals of the Member States who already possessed such qualifications at the date of notification of the directive or who commenced the studies leading to those diplomas, certificates or other evidence of formal qualifications during the third academic year at the latest following such notification even where they do not meet the minimum qualification requirements of Chapter II, by granting them, with regard to the activities laid down in Article 23, the same effect on its territory as that granted to the diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications in architecture which it awards. The Member States are therefore bound to recognize such diplomas without verifying that they satisfy the requirements imposed by Chapter II of the directive.

10 The German diplomas listed in Article 11 of the directive include, among others, those awarded by the Departments of Architecture of the Fachhochschulen, it being laid down that when these attest to a study period of less than four years but of at least three years a minimum of four years' professional experience is also required. On the other hand when the education and training consists of four years of studies, a period of professional experience is not required.

11 In its judgment in Case 310/90 Nationale Raad van de Orde van Architecten v Egle [1992] ECR I-177, the Court ruled that Article 4(1)(a) of the directive must be interpreted in such a way that education and training lasting four years which includes practical semesters organized and supervised by the Fachhochschulen must be regarded as four years of full-time studies.

12 The same interpretation, with regard to the length of the studies in question, applies to the third subparagraph of Article 11(a) of the directive, which refers back to Article 4(1)(a) of the directive.

13 Accordingly the reply to be given to the question must be that the third subparagraph of Article 11(a) of Directive 85/384/EEC must be interpreted in such a way that education and training which lasts for four years and which includes two practical semesters supervised by the Fachhochschule of Stuttgart must be regarded as four years of studies.

Decision on costs



Costs

14 The costs incurred by the German and Italian Governments and by the Commission of the European Communities, which have submitted observations to the Court, are not recoverable. Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the proceedings pending before the national court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court.

Operative part



On those grounds,

THE COURT (Fourth Chamber),

in answer to the question referred to it by the Francophone Appeals Committee of the Association of Architects, by order of 19 June 1991, hereby rules:

The third subparagraph of Article 11(a) of Council Directive 85/384/EEC of 10 June 1985 on the mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications in architecture, including measures to facilitate the effective exercise of the right of establishment and freedom to provide services, must be interpreted as meaning that education and training which lasts four years and which includes two integrated practical semesters supervised by the Fachhochschule of Stuttgart must be regarded as four years of studies.