EU Directives

Midwifery education and practice are regulated through one single European Directive 2005/36/EC.  The information specifically relevant to midwives is not found in the appendices and these reproduce the text of the two Council Directives 80/154/EEC and 80/155/EEC.

The purpose of the EU is to facilitate the freedom of movement of people, goods and services.  In the case of seven professions (doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, veterinarians, opticians and architects) specific sectorial directives were developed as the EU recognised that these professionals who normally have to be registered to practise and that the purpose of this registration is first and foremost the protection of the public.  To ensure the protection of the public throughout the EU, directives were developed so that a minimum standard of access to education, of education to access the various professions and of practice could be identified.

Directive 2005/36/EC in different languagues

This Directive update three previous directives

Council Directive 80/154/EEC of 21 January 1980 concerning the mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications in midwifery and including measures to facilitate the effective exercise of the right of establishment and freedom to provide services

Council Directive 80/155/EEC of 21 January 1980 concerning the coordination of provisions laid down by Law, Regulation or Administrative Action relating to the taking up and pursuit of the activities of midwives

Council Decision of 21 January 1980 setting up an Advisory Committee on the Education and training of Midwives (80/156/EEC).

Short bibliography

  • Mead, M. (1993) Midwifery and Europe, Modern Midwife, 3(3), 22--25 & 28
  • Mead, M. (2002) La sage-femme au sein d'une Union Européenne en changement, Les Dossiers de l'Obstétrique, 29(311), 3-8.
  • Mead, M. (2003) Midwifery and the enlarged European Union, Midwifery, 19(2), 82-86.

Should you consider that further information may be of interest and ought to be added to this list or should you find any difficulty in accessing any of the links, please contact Anita Prelec and he will make sure that your query is dealt with.