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Internal Market: ESA launches proceedings against Norway's handling of psychologists trained abroad



EN  | NO

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) today opens formal infringement proceedings against Norway following a year and a half of fruitless informal dialogue.

Psychologist-caseESA has received complaints from several graduates after Norway denied their applications for recognition of Master's degrees in Clinical and Health Psychology from the ELTE University in Hungary.

"In ESA's view, Norway's new practice breaches EEA rules through restricting the students' rights", says ESA President Bente Angell-Hansen.

For 13 years, ELTE graduates needed to complete one year of supervised work on a licence in Norway to be granted an authorisation to practice as a psychologist. However, Norwegian authorities abruptly discontinued this system in April 2016, directly affecting 66 ELTE graduates and even more students.

“Norwegian students have invested time and money to study abroad and have done so in good faith based on long-established practise. EEA rules are designed to protect their rights and provide them with predictability”, says Ms. Angell-Hansen.

Today's letter of formal notice is the first step in ESA's infringement procedure against Norway. ESA has given Norwegian authorities three months to reply before deciding whether to pursue the case further.

Further, ESA is currently considering similar complaints against Norway's new practice from graduates with psychology training from Poland, Spain, Lithuania and the Netherlands. 

For further information, please see the accompanying fact sheet or contact:

Ms. Anne Vestbakke
Head of Communications
tel. +32 2 286 18 66
mob. +32 490 57 63 53


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