December 7, 2005
At the Architects Council of Europe (ACE)
General Assembly, held in Luxembourg on November 18 and 19,
ACE, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
(NCARB), and the AIA signed an agreement for "mutual
recognition of professional qualifications between architects
of the European Union and the United States."
With such recognition, says Ellen Delage,
director of international relations at the AIA, U.S. architects
with at least seven years of substantial post-licensure experience
would be considered eligible to apply for a license to practice
in 25 European countries, and vice-versa. The agreement comes
after about five years of negotiations between the signatories,
says Delage. It is the first mutual recognition of professional
credentials to be signed between representatives of the EU
and the U.S. It will, says AIA first vice president Kate Schwennsen,
FAIA, give architects more international mobility, and help
unify qualifications standards across borders.
The ACE has already ratified the agreement.
AIA officials expect that the NCARB and AIA boards will ratify
it next year. After ratification, a final legal agreement
would be negotiated for adoption by the European Commission
and by U.S. states and commonwealths.