Specific Sectors

EU Common Regulation

Some services are regulated on an EU wide basis. Across several important sectors, there are EU wide schemes of authorisation. This applies, for example, to many key sectors of the financial services industry, telecommunications, energy and medicines.

It is almost always the case by the terms of the relevant EU authorising legislation, that a company (or individual) established in one jurisdiction (here Ireland) may provide services from that jurisdiction into other EU states. It may establish subsidiaries and branches in other EU states on the basis of the establishment in Ireland.

In addition to the general rules, many important sectors have specific EU wide common rules and standards which facilitate the provision of cross-border trade in goods and services and in mixed goods combined with services.

Regulated Sectors

There are specific schemes of regulation which provide a common EU system of regulation so as to ensure that a business which is authorised in an  EU state can provide services into another EU state, or establish a branch in another EU state and provide services from or through that branch on the basis of its home country (now the UK) authorisation

Most financial services are subject to detailed EU wide regulation. This includes banking,  some aspects of mortgage finance, insurance, payments providers, investment advice and consumer credit.

Transport services and licenses are subject to detailed common regulation across all types of carriers including road, shipping, rail and air. Communications, whether broadcast electronic, telephony digital and other media are subject to common rules and rights  Energy service providers including electricity and gas are subject to common standards and common rights.

Personal Services and Qualifications

More personal services are recognised on the basis of qualifications rather than the authorisation of providers. Many professional services providers such as lawyers and auditors  medical and health professionals enjoy specific detailed EU schemes of recognition.

This approach also applies to a range of personal service providers who are subject to particular schemes for harmonised qualification and authorisation including, in particular, those in the medical professions, lawyers and others.

Unregulated Services

Apart from the areas where there is a single scheme of authorisation, there is a strong presumption that there should be recognition of the licensing standards of one EU state in all other states. EU states are effectively obliged to objectively justify on limited grounds, any refusal to recognise as equivalent, the licensing and qualifications regime of another member state.

Furthermore, the EU treaty basic rights,  the services directive and the qualifications directive apply generally to almost all services even those which are not formally regulated. There are designed to cut through restrictions in other EU countries in a very general way and are enforceable by individuals in those states to remove red tape and restrictions.