The European professional market is in need of reform.
For many decades, certain professions have been protected from competition, whilst others have been marginalised or declared "illegal" in certain countries.
This absurd situation has led to lack of specialisation, lack of competitiveness, inefficiency and massive unemployment among professionals in several countries. In the meantime, other nations suffer a short supply of skills and knowledge in several areas of activity.
Landscape Architecture has been one of the least favoured professions, particularly in Southern Europe.
After years of waiting for action from IFLA, the body representing allegedly Landscape Architecture Worldwide, a number of European Landscape Architects have challenged the landscape establishment in Europe and have appealed directly to our elected politicians to ask for Landscape Architecture to become a Europe wide regulated profession.
The surprising result is that most of them seem to think that it is a good idea and that Landscape Architecture's current situation is a bad thing for business and the environment.
One of the questions put forward by European Members of Parliament to the European commission is this one:
"Landscape architecture is recognised and regulated as a profession in various Member States, with a separate identity from other professions and studies. Unfortunately, it is not officially recognised as a profession in Spain. Without any proper regulation or official definition of this profession, with no professional associations to protect and promote it or any system for the recognition of diplomas and qualifications obtained in other Member States or in other parts of the world, it is difficult to carry out the profession in dignified conditions, thereby creating an unjust situation. Professionals in this field are unable to take part in public procurement processes, contracts or calls for proposals and even have difficulties in obtaining civil and professional liability insurance.
This lack of recognition has legal consequences which contravene the rules of the single market; more specifically, it does not comply with the terms of Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market.
The European Commission has recently acknowledged that updating Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications is one of the priorities of the Single Market Act and will contribute to making the European economy more competitive, in addition to stimulating job creation and growth.
— Is the Commission aware of this discrimination?
— What action will the Commission take to ensure that qualifications in Landscape Architecture are recognised and accepted in Member States such as Spain, which do not acknowledge its existence or the fact that there are trained professionals (Spanish or otherwise) in this field who wish to practise their profession in these countries, under the same conditions applied to any other profession and without hindrance to its development and recognition?"
You can check the original Question to the Commission
How can Landscape Architecture contribute to a new professional market?
How to organise a new profession across many boundaries?
Maybe we are in a habit of looking at the profession from the inside out and from the government down? Too many other professions and academia seem to have something to lose by making it a recognised profession.
Well, if the profession has value, which I believe it does, it makes more sense to go to those who value it or who will value it in order to identify exactly the key knowledge, skills, and abilities that those people would value enough to embrace this profession.
Who are those people? Our would be clients.They are the only ones who really matter if the profession is to be viable. Build the power of the profession from the engine that supplies the need for such work. Don't concentrate on what we wish the profession should be, but meeting the needs are that already exist. Put the catch basin where the water is running to instead of trying to make the water go up hill.
Instead, we spend our time trying to impress the general public, government, educators, architects, and engineers ... why? They are not going to hire you or me.