U.S. and European Architects Work Toward Mutual Recognition
Washington, DC—On Friday, December 6, 2002, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the American Institute of Architects, and the Architects' Council of Europe jointly signed the "Accord on Co-operation and Professionalism in Architecture" that promotes and facilitates architectural practice between the European Union and the United States.
Under accord objectives, the three organizations will move toward the mutual recognition of architects by establishing agreed-upon standards in education, training, and licensure in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare as well as factors related to social and cultural heritage. Within the next 12 months, NCARB, AIA, and ACE plan to develop a Mutual Recognition Agreement—based on accord principles—whose specific terms and conditions and implementation procedures will be defined by a joint panel. At that point, the groups will establish formal international agreements that will recognize U.S. and European architects as qualified to practice in one another's jurisdiction.
The president of ACE and the president, president-elect, and executive officer of the AIA and NCARB formally signed the accord. Among the signatories were C. Robert Campbell, AIA, NCARB president; Robert A. Boynton, FAIA, NCARB president-elect; and Lenore M. Lucey, FAIA, NCARB executive vice president. Participants in Friday's signing ceremony have worked on this endeavor for three years under the auspices of the Transatlantic Economic Partnership, an intergovernmental trade initiative.
The Architects' Council of Europe represents the architectural profession within the European Union. Its membership hails from most of the 15 EU Member States, from two European Economic Area States, and from several Accession States currently negotiating to join the body. Established in 1990 and headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, ACE comprises some 350,000 European architects.
While the AIA represents the profession of architecture in the U.S., NCARB represents the registration authorities for the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. NCARB currently oversees a full mutual recognition agreement with Canada, as well as protocols for Practice in a Host Nation with China, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, and Australia.