CESI welcomes EP Trade committee recommendation to exclude public services from TTIP

CESI strongly welcomes today's vote in the European Parliament's International Trade (INTA) Committee to recommend to exclude public services from TTIP.

CESI welcomes EP Trade committee recommendation to exclude public services from TTIP

The relevant part in the INTA committee report calls on the TTIP negotiators and the European Commission in particular “to build on the joint statement [of the 20th of March by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and US Trade Representative Michael Froman regarding the exclusion of public services in EU and US trade agreements] reflecting the negotiators’ clear commitment to exclude current and future Services of General Interest as well as Services of General Economic Interest from the scope of application of TTIP, (including but not limited to water, health, social services, social security systems and education), to ensure that national and if applicable local authorities retain the full right to introduce, adopt, maintain or repeal any measures with regards to the commissioning, organisation, funding and provision of public services as provided in the Treaties as well as in the EU’s negotiating mandate; this exclusion should apply irrespective of how the services are provided and funded.”

As a European trade union federation representing several million public sector workers in many European countries, CESI has for long worked for a full exclusion of public services from forthcoming trade agreements such as TTIP. Together with the Social Platform, it launched an initiative to insert a ‘Gold standard clause’ in these agreements to fully and unrestrictedly protect public services from any further open market pressures.

In this context, CESI’s Secretary General Klaus Heeger welcomed today’s INTA committee vote to recommend to exclude public services from TTIP: “I am glad that the efforts we put into our gold standard clause initiative yield results. The clause on public services in the INTA committee report reflects much of what such a gold standard clause could look like. I am confident that the plenary follow the INTA committee vote on this. Then, it will be hard for the Commission to not respect the European Parliament’s preference on public services in its TTIP negotiations. After all, parliament will have the last word when it comes to approving TTIP on behalf of the EU.”

The plenary vote on the INTA committee report is scheduled to take place on June 10.