Vote next week for strong public services!
(28 May 2009, Brussels) Watch our video on the public service pledge:
Next week 492 millions EU citizens will vote to elect their representatives to the European Parliament. In the current economic climate, it is vital that a strong commitment to public services is forthcoming. EPSU is therefore committed to playing a constructive role in ensuring that the European Parliament of 2009-2014 actively represents the desire of European citizens to have high quality public services, throughout the European Union.
Since our launch of the public service pledge, in November last year, we have engaged almost 200 candidates for the European Elections. Our video shows some of the well known faces who have signed up from 21 different countries. As you can see from our graph over 50% of support has come from the Socialists, and a further 30% from the Green Party.
In this time, EPSU affiliates have also been very active. For example in the UK, the Royal College of Nursing has published this great campaign website full of European campaign materials and videos. In Germany, Ver.di has released a detailed political manifesto.
We also got an official statement on the Public Service Pledge from an entire political party : the German left party "Die Linke” (17 candidates).
In each case we have seen a high level of political engagement. The lesson learned is that the political contacts that you, as EPSU affiliates, have, is paramount to our success. The saying that ‘all politics is local’ has a large degree of truth.
It would be wrong however to ignore the fact that there are 6 countries where we did not get a single candidate to sign. They are Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Romania and Slovakia. It is interesting that they are all ‘new’ member states. It would suggest that engaging the citizens (and the candidates) requires strong contacts, and a strong awareness of what the Parliament can do. We will need to work with affiliates here to forge political contacts.
The campaign can only be deemed a success when we have converted these political contact points into a strong cross-party group of public service advocates. We need to use the ‘pledge signatories’ as a foundation upon which we can build our efforts for quality healthcare, energy, water, local government, and national administration.
Over the next 5 years we look forward to working with you to deepen the network of contacts between MEPs and EPSU affiliate representatives. Through your help and your contacts we can continue our aim of promoting quality public services and quality public service jobs.
Brian Synnott EPSU campaign and communication officer