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What are chambers and what are they for?

07.04.2021.

In modern society, the quality and efficient provision of professional services contributes to the realization of fundamental social values.

Both in the provision of public services and in the process of shaping public policies, professions and their associations play an extremely important role. Namely, certain professions whose activities are in the public interest, such as doctors, lawyers, architects, etc., traditionally gather in professional associations for the purpose of regulating and ensuring quality.

In the Republic of Croatia, the law provides for the establishment of professional associations in certain professions in the form of chambers. Such an organizational form with its special characteristics, self-regulation and public and other powers should ensure the realization of public interest in performing a number of different professional services, but should also improve the interests of its members in developing their profession further.

As a rule, chambers carry out procedures for issuing, renewing and revoking work permits, prescribe or elaborate conditions for obtaining permits, keep a register of authorized professionals, set restrictions on performing activities, mostly through pricing services, adopt a code of ethics, and conduct disciplinary procedures and professional supervision over the chamber members.

There are currently 28 chambers operating in Croatia. There are two specific chambers in the existing system of chambers - the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, which as economic and professional associations differ from other professional chambers, and membership in them is required by law.

The increase in the number of chambers has been recorded since 2005, when negotiations on the membership of the Republic of Croatia in the European Union began. Out of a total of 27 chambers, 16 of them were established in that period, and new chamber associations are expected within certain professions (for instance, the establishment of a chamber in security sector has been announced), which imposes not only social development, but also complexity in certain professions and the need for further alignment with EU legislation. That need is particularly obvious in the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (2005/36 / EC) and the Services Directive (2006/123 / EC), which provide for specific obligations for chambers to ensure the mobility of services and labor in the European market.

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