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I've mostly seen it in some legal or related texts, but didn't manage to find any definition.

Sample:

It jeopardises investment in research and innovation, devalues intelligence and the qualification effort, encourages organised crime and clearly weakens the rule of law. That is why combating counterfeiting must be an absolute imperative for all EU Member States.

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I suggest that there, it means - loosely - the effort people go to, to gain qualifications.

The passage appears to come from a Euro-debate in Strasbourg in 2008, in which MEP Francisco Assis (PSE) spoke about the perils of counterfeiting.

The full text (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20081217+ITEMS+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN) shows that either the English version was made by a poor translator, or Assis was a poor speaker with poor subject knowledge or both.

Given that background, doesn't qualification effort seem a lot less specific or meaningful than it might?

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