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New EC Anti-Tax Avoidance Package: not the end of the fight against corporate tax avoidance

(28 January 2016) Today’s new Anti-Tax Avoidance Package (ATAP) will potentially contribute to making multinational companies pay more tax, but not yet all the tax they owe. The lengthy package consists of two directives. One implements the OECD’s BEPS action plan at EU level, to pave the way for a common consolidated corporate tax base in the autumn. The other requires the automatic exchange of information by large companies limited to tax administrations (country-by-country tax reporting). (...)

EU social partners reach landmark agreement on rights for central government employees

Key progress was made for the European Social Dialogue today (Monday 21 December 2015), when a landmark agreement was reached between central government employers, employees and their trade union representatives. Following months of discussions, the Social Dialogue Committee for Central Government Administrations signed a document which sets out a general framework of common minimum requirements for the information and consultation rights of public workers in central government (...)

Time for more ambition on jobs in the EU’s Circular Economy Package

(16 December 2015 - press release) Today European ministers will have the chance to discuss Commissioner Vella’s proposals for the promotion of a Circular Economy when the European Commission presents its Circular Economy Package to the Environment Council. Establishing a Circular Economy through waste reduction, re-use, repair and recycling is a crucial goal in a world of rapidly rising consumption and finite resources. It will be key to achieving targets outlined in the historic COP21 (...)

Social partners in Local Government declare “Wealth gains of digitalization have to be distributed fairly among all citizens”

(11 December 2015 - Joint Press Release EPSU-CEMR) While digitalisation can foster more jobs, well-being and improve the lives of many citizens, it impacts directly the local and regional governments and their employees, in terms of skills, training, infrastructure, deployment and the forms of work. Spectacular wealth gains that digitalisation is expected to generate, at least for some groups of society, must also be re—distributed fairly among all members of society. The Social Partners in (...)

European Public Service Workers disappointed at further delays on FTT Agreement

(8 December 2015 - Press Release) There was much expectation around today’s Economy and Finance Council of the European Union. The broad coalition of trade unions, NGOs and civil society that has formed around the demand for a strong Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) hoped that this would finally be the moment of an agreement. Commissioner Moscovici now says he hopes for an agreement by summer 2016. It is nearly three years since the proposal was first put on the table and the endless delays (...)

Taxpayers are lovin’ it: Commission opens state aid investigation into McDonald’s tax arrangements

(3 December 2015 - Joint Press Release) Today a Coalition of European and American trade unions formed by SEIU, EPSU and EFFAT, joined by the anti-poverty campaign group War on Want, applauded the European Commission as it formally opened a state aid investigation to scrutinise McDonald’s tax arrangements in Europe. This Coalition, representing 15 million workers globally in different sectors of the economy, urges the Commission to pursue the case vigorously, and ensure that McDonald’s (...)

McDonald’s inability to give a straight answer on tax shows need for further investigation by EU

(Press Release – 17 November 2015) McDonald’s inability to give a straight answer about its corporate structure and how much tax it pays further highlights the need for a full investigation into McDonald’s tax affairs. McDonald’s was one of eleven multinationals grilled by the European Parliament’s Special Committee on tax. The evasive responses by all multinationals also justify an extension of the special TAXE committee’s mandate. The European Federation of Public Service Unions, which (...)

European Patent Office does not live in a Dutch no man’s land

(EPSU/FNV Press Release, Brussels 06 November 2015) In a joint letter, EPSU, the European Public Service Union, and its Dutch affiliate, FNV, call upon the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to take action against breaches of fundamental workers’ rights at the European Patent Office based in the Hague, Netherlands. The European Patent Office’s core activity is the examination of patent applications and the grant of European patents. The media have reported on EPO’s unacceptable management led (...)

Transparency on tax rulings must have a deterrent effect, says EPSU representing tax inspectors

(EPSU press release - 27 October 2015) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) calls on the European Parliament to strengthen the proposed directive on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI) on tax rulings with a view to : Making AEoI fully public. Trade unionists, citizens and shareholders have a democratic right to know what deals their governments are striking with multinational companies (MNCs). After all, it is citizens who lose out from the lost tax revenue. In (...)

EPSU tells Commission: Following Starbucks and Fiat decisions, go after McDonald’s and the rest...

Press Release – Brussels, 21st October 2015 – The European Public Service Union (EPSU) welcomes today’s landmark decision by Competition Commissioner Vestager that the tax rulings granted to Starbucks in the Netherlands and Fiat Finance in Luxembourg constitute illegal state aid. It sends a strong signal to tax authorities and companies that tax reduction deals that deprive society of much needed revenue for our public services must be put to an end. “We welcome the Commission’s new tough (...)

Free trade deals set to ravage Europe’s public services

(Press release- 12 October 2015) Public services in the EU are under threat from transatlantic trade agreements that could endanger citizens’ rights to basic services like water, health, and energy for the sake of corporate profits, according to a new report (attached below) released today by an international group of NGOs and trade unions [1]. The study shows how the EU’s CETA [2] deal with Canada, and the TTIP [3] under negotiation with the United States, could lock public utilities into (...)

ETUC Congress supports a 25% European corporate tax

Press Release –Paris 1 October 2015 -Yesterday at the ETUC Congress, Europe’s trade union leaders took a clear stance on corporate taxation in the EU. Trade unions reaffirmed the need to stop the downward trend of progressive taxation on corporate profits and the upward trend of regressive tax as VAT and corporate tax avoidance. “As we have been saying for years, Europe’s tax trends are deeply worrying. As a result workers, consumers regardless of their income levels and SMEs end up paying (...)

Finance Ministers questioned by MEPs on corporate tax avoidance

(Press Release – 22 September 2015) Today, the French, Italian, German and Spanish Finance ministers will be grilled by the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Tax Rulings (TAXE) on growing evidence of widespread tax avoidance by major multinational corporations. The Committee is pushing for 14 companies that did not turn up at hearings to explain their tax dealings to be blacklisted from the European Transparency Register. These include household names such as Amazon, Google, (...)

EURELECTRIC/IndustriAll Europe/EPSU Joint Press Release on addressing measures to mitigate social impacts

COP21 UN Climate Change Conference (22 September 2015) European Social Partners for the Electricity Sector have committed to “the development of skilling and reskilling programmes, the creation of quality jobs and a Just Transition” in a joint position on addressing measures to mitigate social impacts relating to climate change and the upcoming COP21 Conference in Paris. The three organisations – consisting of EPSU and IndustriAll for the trade unions and EURELECTRIC as representatives of (...)

Victory for citizens, victory for the Human Right to Water!

(Press release- 8 September 2015) Another milestone for the Human Right to Water. With today’s vote the EP demands that the EC make concrete legislative proposals to recognize the human right to water and sanitation as defined by the UN. This victory is for the supporters of the Right to Water and also for democracy in the European Union. This vote adds support to the 1.9 million signature collected, backs up what the candidates to the Presidency of the European Commission previously (...)

Parliament called upon to support first ever successful European Citizens Initiative Right2Water, not to obstruct it.

(Press release- Brussels, 4 September 2015) The European Parliament will vote on the first ever European Citizens Initiative (ECI) www.Right2water.eu 8 September. The Environmental Committee of the EP supported the demands of the nearly 2 million people that signed. The demands include that the European Commission proposes legislation to recognise the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in the European Union based on the UN Resolution of 2010. It will be the Member States that implement it. (...)

Human Right to Water: EP takes key step towards EU recognition

(Press Release – 29 June 2015) The demands of the first ever successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) Right2Water received overwhelming support from Members of European Parliament, who voted on an own-initiative report in the Environment Committee. This report demands the European Commission to implement the human rights to water and sanitation in EU Legislation. Also, MEPs positioned themselves to exclude water services from trade agreements such as TTIP, the proposed trade agreement (...)

Celebrate Public Services Day! Do not trade them away!

(ETUCE-EPSU Press Release Brussels, 23 June 2015 - Embargoed until 23rd June 10am) On 23 June the significant value and virtues of public services are celebrated around the world. In the context reaching agreement on the Post-2015 Development Agenda including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - EPSU and ETUCE emphasise the key role played by public services in the development process and underline that public services are (...)

Diplomatic immunity must stop at the workplace

(EPSU Press release, 5 June 2015) New evidence of breaches of fundamental human rights in embassies and diplomats’ homes in Europe. A new study on the legal situation and problems of staff working in embassies and diplomat employers’ homes in Europe and possible remedies was carried out by the Amsterdam International Law Clinic, linked to the Amsterdam Law University. The study was commissioned by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and its Dutch affiliate, FNV (...)

McDonald’s $1.8 billion global tax avoidance scheme continues

(EPSU Press Release - 20 May 2015) After the EPSU report on the McDonalds tax scheme, a coalition of global trade unions formed by Public Services International (PSI - International umbrella organisation of EPSU), the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), released a report about McDonald’s global tax avoidance strategy. In this document, the coalition reveals how McDonald’s has taken advantage of corporate tax loopholes to avoid (...)

Saying No to Corporate bill of rights in trade agreements made easy by online tool

(EPSU Press release - 20 May 2015) EPSU and many unions like GdG-KMSfB were amongst the 150.000 people and organisations that participated in the EU public consultation on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in forthcoming trade agreements between the EU and the US called TTIP. We and 97% of those responding said No to ISDS in the agreement. We want the Members of the European Parliament to respect this position and express themselves in the same way. That is why EPSU and its (...)

EPSU joins effort to achieve a proper transparency mechanism

(11 May 2015) The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) has sent today an open letter to the European Commission Vice President (Frans Timmermans) asking to create an EU lobby transparency register fit for purpose, the current voluntary scheme has proven not efficient or effective. This letter has been signed by over one hundred non-governmental organisations and trade unions (including EPSU) and supported by the European Parliament Intergroup on Integrity. (...)

Conference urges policy-makers to adopt ethical recruitment principles to stop health workforce brain drain

(Joint press release, Brussels, 05 May 2015) – What role can ethical recruitment play for fair distribution of health workers? and, what role has Europe in ensuring that freedom of movement of health workers in the Single Market does not translate into unequitable access to health services in less affluent regions? These are some of the questions that today’s event, ‘Mobility of Health Professionals in the EU: Ethical Recruitment and Policy Coherence’ responded to. Jointly organised by the (...)

Joint EPSU - CEMR Press Release: High level Conference ‘A new start for social dialogue’ 4 March 2015

“Trusting and involving social partners: a win-win solution to build a social dialogue adapted to the challenges” (Brussels, 4 March 2015) The 5 March High-Level Summit 2015 is expected to be a new step for the European social dialogue with the organisation of the High level conference ‘A new start for social dialogue’, hosted by the European Commission. CEMR and EPSU, as the most representative organisations for Local and Regional Governments as employers and for their workers’ trade unions, (...)

Unhappy Meal: €1 Billion in Tax Avoidance on the Menu at McDonald’s

(Joint press release - 25 February 2015) Tax structure allowed McDonald’s to divert revenue for years, costing European countries over €1 billion in lost taxes between 2009 and 2013. Today in Brussels, a coalition of European and American trade unions, joined by the anti-poverty campaign group War on Want, unveiled a report about McDonald’s deliberate avoidance of over €1 billion in corporate taxes in Europe over the five year period, 2009-2013. The report outlines in detail the tax avoidance (...)

Luxleaks enquiry blocked by largest EP groups: a missed opportunity

(Press release - Brussels 06 February) Yesterday, the leaders of the PPE, S&D, Liberals, opposed a plenary vote on the launch of a parliamentary enquiry committee on the #Luxleaks follow-ups. There was a sizeable group of MEPs that wanted this. There will now be a special committee that PPE and S&D had opposed earlier. EPSU has been a strong supporter of an EP enquiry committee with sufficient human and material resources as well as legal backup, to crack down on what has become (...)

Another leaked paper shows Commission speaking double language

(Press release- Brussels 04 February) Another leaked paper made public today on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) negotiations shows the ambiguity of the assurances given by the European Union (EU) institution about the protection of public services in trade agreements. The document, apparently tabled by the government of Turkey, was discussed by EU member states last September at the Geneva TISA negotiations. It suggests an annex on health care services in the TISA that would promote (...)

EPSU welcomes cross-party support for Luxleaks EP enquiry committee

(Press Release – 15 January 2015) Yesterday 14 January, a sufficient number of MEPs signed up to the call by the Greens with the support of the GUE group to launch a parliamentary enquiry committee in the Luxleaks tax scandals. The petition was signed by 194 MEPs, above the required threshold of a quarter of all MEPs or 188. “We fully support an enquiry committee to shed public light on the Luxleaks tax scandals, the legality or not of corporate tax rebates with EC state aid rules, why so (...)

Liberalisation of public services in trade agreements a danger for our social model

(Brussels, 14 January 2015) More than 100 trade unionists from public sector unions from over 25 European countries will gather in Vienna to discuss TTIP, CETA and TISA in Vienna on 15-16 January 2015.

EPSU and ETUCE together with AK and ÖGB organise an important gathering on the possible impact of current trade negotiations on public services and how to challenge the liberalisation of public services. “Governments should focus on objectives and actions to maintain and improve the access

Austerity continues to be tax dodgers’ best friend

(EPSU Press release 18 December 2014) A year ago, EPSU produced a report on the impact of public budget cuts on tax collection between 2007 and 2011. The update released today shows that little has changed. Despite the recent appetite for legal measures to fight corporate tax avoidance - no doubt because of the Luxembourg tax leaks -, austerity means that the resources to do so continue to be reduced. It finds that 24 out of 30 states (EU28, Iceland and Norway) cut employment in tax (...)

The Commission must stop consulting the Big 4 firms exposed in “Lux leaks”

(EPSU press release 18 December 2014) In a letter to the Commission sent yesterday 17 December, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and civil society members of the European Commission good tax governance Platform expressed strong concerns regarding the possible conflict of interest of some PwC-linked members currently sitting on the Platform. The EC advisory Platform, established last year, is charged with advising the Commission on implementing its action plan against (...)

Juncker’s plan promotes PPPs which socialise risks and privatise profits - new briefings show

(Press Communication – 16 December 2014) The Juncker investment plan will be under scrutiny at this week’s European Council with many questions still to be clarified about how it will work in practice. The European Federation of Public Service Unions is concerned about the continuing restrictions on public finances, and the extent to which the private sector will be relied on to cover for the shortfall in public investment. A briefing from the PSIRU international research organisation looks (...)

Annual Growth Survey 2015 - Structural reforms will fuel deflation rather than recovery

(Press Communication – 24 November 2014) The European Commission is due to publish the Annual Growth Survey 2015 and the Juncker Investment plan this week. The investment plan will be crucial to a sustained recovery but this risks being undermined by the now familiar call for more and deeper structural reform. As this briefing from EPSU makes very clear the kinds of reforms envisaged by the Commission will not only have a negative impact on workers but will contribute nothing to getting (...)

British Government drafts plan to undermine union

(Press Communication – 20 November 2014) Senior human resource officers in the ministry of revenue and customs in the UK are discussing proposals that would involve marginalizing the PCS, the main civil service union. The plans, leaked in a secret document published by PCS, include reducing the trade union’s facilities time and other measures to destabilize the union and minimize its influence. EPSU, Europe’s leading federation representing civil and public servants of which PCS is a member, (...)

LuxLeaks reveal something is rotten at the heart of Europe

(Press communication, 19 November 2014) The Luxembourg tax leaks do not reveal anything new. EU governments and the Commission knew about corporate stratagems to pay as little tax as possible. What the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reveals is the industrial scale of the secret tax deals and the complicity of the Luxembourg government. As a result, billions of Euros have been lost at the expense of citizens who are subject to job, pay and welfare cuts. What (...)

Austerity kills: the case of Ebola

(Press Release, 14 November 2014, Brussels) As the Ebola case of the Spanish nurse, Teresa Romero, seems to be stabilised, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), the most representative European organisation for health workers, starts demanding a proper response and that responsibilities are clearly defined and also actually assumed in case of problems or mistakes. In Europe, only one person was infected by the Ebola epidemic. So far, the two victims of the disease who (...)

Workers from Carlos III - La Paz Hospital in Madrid will talk about how Europe is fighting Ebola

Media Advisory: MEP Lola Sánchez Caldentey, MEP Nessa Childers and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) will hold a press conference with health workers of Carlos III - La Paz hospital of Madrid that fought Ebola. Brussels, 12 November 2014 - MEP Lola Sánchez Caldentey, MEP Nessa Childers and the EPSU (European Federation of Public Service Unions) the most representative European organization of health workers, have jointly promoted and organised the visit of health (...)

French soldiers have the right to form and join a union, says the European Court of human rights

(Press Communication – 29 October 2014) The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) recently ruled that the blanket ban on trade unions in the French army violates article 11 of the European convention on human rights that protects the right to freedom of assembly and association, including the right to form trade unions. The European ruling confirms that whilst certain restrictions can apply to military personnel, in terms of expression and action, a blanket ban on trade union membership (...)

European firefighters to meet in Glasgow to fight austerity

Fire Brigades Union press release - Monday 27 October 2014 What: Meeting of European firefighters Where: Fire Service Training Centre Westburn Drive, Cambuslang, Glasgow G72 1AA When: 12:30pm, Tuesday 28 October 2014 Firefighters from across Europe will meet in Glasgow for a European Public Service Union (EPSU) meeting to discuss the pressures facing fire and rescue services internationally and to sound the alarm about how dangerous austerity is for all firefighters. Austerity (...)

TISA: Lifting the Veil of Secrecy

(16 October 2014 - Press Communication) Public Services International (PSI), in partnership with Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), will be holding the very first global conference to provide a critical perspective on the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) in Geneva on 17 October 2014. PSI and OWINFS will present a new report on how TISA is being used to accomplish transnational corporations´deregulatory agenda. This new report will (...)

EPSU welcomes new EU rules on automatic tax information exchange but who will use them?

(Brussels, 15 October 2014) The EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council of Ministers agreed, unanimously, on 14 October to extend the scope of a directive on mandatory automatic exchange of information between tax administrations. (En français ci-dessous) The amendment to the directive on administrative cooperation in the field of direct taxation brings in interests, dividends and other income as well as account balances and sale proceeds from financial assets, within the scope of the (...)

Young workers describe “emergency situation” to all major European Parliament groups

(15 October 2014- Joint press release) Young trade union shop stewards working in some of the key sectors of Europe’s economy – including transport, public services, food production, retail, metal, and media and the arts – drew a full crowd in the European Parliament on Tuesday 14 October to describe the dire reality facing young workers and jobseekers today. To further the aims of the youth employment campaign led by six European trade union federations titled “Enough of their crisis – Back (...)

New Commission must end corporate dominance of EU expert groups

(Brussels 29 August 2014) New European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker needs to tackle the persistent over-representation of corporate interests in European Commission ‘expert groups’ warn trade unions and transparency organisations. These organisations (ETUC, EPSU, UNI & CEO) have highlighted this fundamental issue with the EU’s advisory groups in response to the European Ombudsman’s public consultation on the topic that closed yesterday (see document below). Expert groups (...)

Youth Guarantee fails to fulfil its promises

(Brussels, 10 July 2014 - Joint ETUFs Press Communication) The six European trade union federations (ETUFs) and their combined membership of 30 million workers who are powering the campaign “Enough of their crisis – back to our future”, are deeply concerned that the Italian Government, which has just this month commenced its Presidency of the EU, has cancelled the Inter-Ministerial Summit on Youth Employment planned to take place in Turin on 11 July. The ETUFs see it as evidence that European (...)

Italian Prime Minister Renzi urged to secure Tax on Financial Transactions

(Brussels 7 July 2014 - EPSU Press Communication) As Italy takes over the EU presidency, a letter signed by NGOs and trade union urges Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to secure agreement on the EU draft directive for a tax on financial transactions (FTT) . “Mr Renzi has pledged to push for growth and jobs over austerity and bring back much needed social cohesion in Europe. An FTT is central to this agenda. The tax will curb speculation, make the financial sector pay for the social and (...)

Health and social service workers stand up against social dumping !

(Brussels, 4 July 2014 - EPSU Press Communication) In a joint statement the German and Spanish health and social services trade unions together with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), the voice of Europe’s care workers, stress their determination in the fight against rogue employers that take advantage of health workers. A recent example is how a Berlin-based care company exploited Spanish nurses and offered lower pay and conditions than those stipulated by the (...)

Eurozone President and Dutch Finance Minister Dijsselbloem suffers crushing defeat in Greek saga

(Brussels, 30 June 2014 - EPSU Press communication) The privatization of the Greek water companies in Athens and Thessaloniki has been frozen. This was the news reported to the General Assembly of the Thessaloniki water company (EYATH) today. Workers representatives cheered the report that the ongoing privatisation of the public company is in direct conflict with a decision of the Council of State which had decreed that the privatization of the Athens water company sought by the Greek (...)

EPSU’s message to the European Council: promote healthcare – boost the economy

(Brussels, 19 June 2014 - EPSU Press Communication) The health ministers meeting in Luxembourg today and tomorrow (19-20 June) urgently need to push for sweeping changes to the European Commission’s country-specific recommendations on health and long-term care. EPSU, the trade union federation for health care workers across Europe, argues that the Commission is failing to acknowledge the increasing urgency of health problems in many countries in Europe and is more concerned with budgetary (...)

European Commission should stop negotiations TTIP until European Parliament gives guidance

(10 June 2014, EPSU Press Release) Yesterday the European Parliament postponed its vote on the Lange report on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) until November. EPSU asks the European Commission to postpone further negotiations with the US until the Parliament has given the necessary guidance on how to proceed with the negotiations. EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan commented: "Without guidance from the European Parliament, EU negotiator Cecilia (...)

EPSU supports No vote in Thessaloniki Water Referendum; asks Suez Environment to respect outcome

EPSU Press communication – 14 May 2014 Thessaloniki referendum on future of water company 18 May 2014 Local coalition campaigns for NO vote to privatisation, NO to corporate take-over International team of observers will monitor referendum Greek government and French multinational Suez Environment asked to respect outcome. The Greek government wants to sell the water and sanitation company of Thessaloniki. It hopes to gain money to reduce the state debt. Privatisation of public (...)

EC proposals to lift VAT exemptions for public services belong to dustbin of bad ideas

Press Communication – 5 May 2014 In a public consultation that closed 25 April last, the Commission proposes to lift VAT exemptions for the public sector or services/activities of the general interest. Those exemptions from the EC VAT regime were designed to respond to the specific social, economic and redistributive objectives of public services, social security schemes and other general interest activities. They allow public authorities to provide those services on a not-for-profit (...)

Secret negotiations threaten public services in 50 countries

(Joint EPSU/PSI Press release, 28 April 2014) Public sector workers and users of public services in countries around the world are protesting against the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) secret negotiations resuming today in Geneva, Switzerland. Members of civil society are demanding the release of more information on this sweeping trade deal, and assurance that it will not affect provision of any public services. They will also deliver to government leaders a protest letter signed by (...)

Human right to water must be central to EU and global water policies

(21 March 2014) The struggle continues for unions and water activists as we celebrate World Water Day. On the occasion of World Water Day 22 March 2014, EPSU thanks the people and organisations that have supported the initiative Right2Water. It would not have been possible without your support and commitment. The European Commission Communication in response to the European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water shows that water policy in Europe will never be the same again. The involvement of (...)

Commission lacks ambition in replying to first European Citizens’ Initiative

(19 March 2014) The European Commission (EC) published a Communication today that gives its official response to the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) which called on the EC “to implement the human right to water and sanitation in European law.” In the Communication, the European Commission does recall the importance of the human right to water and sanitation and states the importance of water as a public good and fundamental value and that “water is not a commercial (...)

Democrats stand up for a Financial Transactions Tax and resist business fear!

(Press release - 18 February 2014) We might soon find out whether the 11 pro-FTT EU governments* will support an ambitious, effective FTT or a mini FTT as recently introduced in France and Italy. A year after the publication of the draft directive for a Tax on Financial Transactions (FTT), the Franco-German summit on 19 February is expected to give strong indications as to the future shape of the most popular EU tax proposal. Against a background of hectic anti-FTT lobby from the banks (...)

The European Commission must declare and implement the Human Right to water now!

(EPSU Press release - 17 February 2014) The first ever European Citizens Initiative (ECI) met today Maroš Šefčovič and the European Commission services to discuss the implementation of the demands of the ECI Right2water in the European legislation. After having received 1,680,172 valid statements, (with 13 countries having collected the minimum number) the representatives of the citizens committee demanded the European Commission to recognise and implement the right to water and sanitation (...)

Right to water meets the European Parliament and the European Commission

EPSU Press communication – Brussels 14 February - The first ever successful European Citizens Initiative (ECI) will meet on Monday EU Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič and the European Commission services to discuss with the Commission its response to the demands of the ECI. The ECI Right2Water has submitted 1.66 million valid statements to the Commission. The representatives of the citizens committee are invited to the European Commission on Monday morning. The European Parliament has a public (...)

Press communication: “Water is a human right!” will submit certificates for 1.6 million signatories

(Brussels 10 December) 10 December is human rights day. We celebrate and remember the struggle of many for human rights and dignity. The European Citizens’ Initiative “Water is a human right!” is proud to be part of that struggle that unites many on our planet. It has engaged hundred thousands in Europe to demand that the European Commission takes steps to implement the right to water as adopted by the UN in 2010. The ECI collected more then 1.85 million signatures after a long campaign that (...)

Stick with it! We want the Financial Transaction Tax now!

(Press communication 14 November 2013) For many years, the coalition of “Europeans For Financial Reform” has been campaigning for the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) in Europe as a first but essential step towards an international FTT. This year, 11 EU-Member States agreed to implement the FTT based on a proposal from the European Commission. Since then, the financial lobby has been pressing hard to postpone the introduction of the FTT and to carve out all sorts of (...)

What’s in a Promise? Assessing if the Commission has tackled corporate dominance in its Expert Groups

(Brussels 5 November 2013) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) member of ALTER –EU kindly invites you to a: PRESS CONFERENCE/DEBATE 6 November 2013 : What’s in a Promise? Assessing if the Commission has tackled corporate dominance in its Expert Groups Should tax dodgers be given privileged access to advise on tax havens, telecoms giants on data privacy or big business on the eurocrisis? The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), AK EUROPA – (...)

Angry citizens expose Commission support for business deregulation agenda

(Brussels 29 October 2013) A group of angry citizens challenged the President of the European Commission J.M Barroso on his pro-business policies, interrupting his speech. He was speaking at a Commission sponsored event For a Business-Friendly Public Administration today. As European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) we are sympathetic as public administrations should serve the people. It is good news that citizens engage with Europe, demand People’s friendly public administrations (...)

Austerity has failed – a look at the evidence

Press communication (Brussels, 25 October 2013) As the European economy shows some signs of sluggish growth, the advocates of austerity such as EU Commissioner Ollie Rehn and Commission President Barroso may be tempted to claim their policies have worked. This briefing from the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is a timely reminder not only that austerity has failed and caused social pain to workers and citizens but that an urgent change of policy is needed to create the (...)

Thousands of workers tell Commission and Council: we want an end to austerity. Focus on Alternatives

Press communication (Brussels, 24 October 2013) Across Europe thousands of workers take part in a European action of EPSU to tell European Commission President Barroso and European Council President Van Rompuy that we have had it with austerity. Through pictures taken at our work places we show that Europe’s public workers and our trade unions have a common message to the European Council that meets 24 & 25 October. We need an end to austerity and focus on alternatives such as (...)

First European Citizens’ Initiative collects almost 2 Million signatures across Europe!

(Brussels 10 September - press communication) As of yesterday the national branches of the right2water.eu campaign have been handing in the signatures collected to the respective national authorities. We are now demanding that the European Commission to implements the Human Right to water and sanitation in European Union basic legislation. The campaign is an undeniable success. The broad coalition of supporters that has campaigned throughout the 17 months since the application was (...)

Press release: Investors requested to withdraw bids for Thessaloniki Water and Sewage Company
Respect local communities

(24 July 2013) A large group of Greek, European and international organisations, networks and others have requested the bidders for the Thessaloniki Water and Sewage Company to withdraw their bids. They want the bidders to respect the wishes of the workers and local communities who do not want their company to be run by private operators. All of the companies that are bidding have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies that claim to respect and work with the local communities. If (...)

Media advisory: 19 June European Day of Action No Austerity, Yes Tax Justice !

(13 June 2013) As part of its campaign “ Europe’s missing € 1000 billion every year: we want it back” the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) coordinates a European tax justice week of actions 17-23 June to make the rich and transnational corporations pay their fair share of taxes. In Brussels, on 19 June, EPSU and its Belgian affiliates will hold a meeting with Belgian State Secretary John Crombez charged with the fight against tax fraud. Mr Crombez will explain, 9h45 (...)

Trade unions support European Parliament demands for EU action against wealthy tax dodgers!

Brussels 17 May 2013 – Joint ETUC/EPSU Press Communication As the European Parliament is due to vote on 22 May on the report on Fight against Tax Fraud, Tax Evasion and Tax Havens by MEP Kleva Kekuš (SL, S&D), trade unions in Europe encourage all MEPs to support it. The draft report proposes concrete steps towards banning all tax havens and forcing transnational companies to pay their fair share of taxes on the huge profits they make. If adopted, it will send strong signals to the EU (...)

New study concludes EU’s internal energy market remains a dangerous experiment and threatens climate change policy

European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) Press Communication – 13 May 2013 (13 May 2013) A new study for EPSU finds that after 15 years of experimenting with the EU internal market for electricity and gas its inherent flaws are not addressed. The study comes as the European Parliament will be voting on the Jerzy Buzek (Polish conservative MEP) report later in May. His draft report is uncritically in favour of the internal market for electricity and gas as is the European (...)

Austerity helps tax dodging according to EPSU’s new research

(25 March 2013 - Press Communication) New research released today by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), as part of its closing the European tax gap campaign, shows impact of austerity on tax collection services. The research seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate in the EU institutions on a new action plan against tax fraud and avoidance. It reveals that since the start of the crisis, instead of investing in tax services that collect much needed revenues to (...)

Press release: World Water Day 2013: First successful European Citizens Initiative puts Right to water on EU agenda

(22 March 2013) Hundreds of activists will be collecting signatures for the right to water European Citizens Initiative in many countries in the EU on the occasion of World Water Day. More than 1 million citizens have already signed. The right2water initiative demands that water and sanitation are declared a human right in the EU. Campaigners across the world will also be participating in the “International Year of Water Cooperation”, demanding that the human right to water and sanitation (...)

Concessions Directive moves behind closed doors - We need to continue public debate says EPSU

(Press release - Brussels 22 February 2013) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is disappointed that the concessions Directive will go to trialogue in which small delegations of Parliament, Council and Commission will hammer out compromises. EPSU had argued for a plenary debate given that the Directive is new, complex and several parts are contested and transparency is required. We welcome the statements of several political groups and politicians promising to fight (...)

Time for FTT: Europe’s Valentine for the people

EPSU Press Release – 14 February 2013 The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the European Commission’s draft directive for a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT), released on 14 February 2013. EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach Pyttel says: “The Commission’s financial transactions tax proposal is better than the initial plan; the impact on growth and jobs will be more positive and risks of tax avoidance more limited. It is welcome that the increased scope of the (...)

One million signatures for Water as a Human Right !

(Press release - Brussels 11 February) Yesterday, the first up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) ‘Water is a Human Right’ made history as also being the first ECI in the history of the European Union to have collected over 1 million signatures. Anne-Marie Perret, President of the Citizens Committee says “Reaching this important milestone, with one Million EU citizens agreeing that water and sanitation are human rights, is a great success. We appreciate the support of so many and (...)

EPSU Press communication: While hundreds of thousands support citizens initiative for water as a Human Right and opposing liberalization, MEPs vote through concessions directive

(4 February 2013) The first up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) - Water is a Human Right – is more than 4/5ths of the way towards the target of a million online signatures. And many workers and citizens are collecting paper signatures as well. This ECI was the first to start the paper and on-line collection of signatures. It is the first initiative that has passed the ¾ threshold and likely to be the first to reach the 1 million mark. Clearly many hundred thousands of citizens (...)

EPSU welcomes EU Finance ministers vote to go ahead with Financial Transaction Tax

(EPSU statement - 23 January 2013 - Press Release) On 22 January 2013 EU finance ministers agreed to proceed with proposals for a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) under enhanced co-operation procedure. Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary, said: “The €zone countries are right to go ahead with a Financial Transaction Tax as it will spread the cost of the crisis on to those that actually caused it, benefit jobs and growth, provide much needed public resources for socially useful (...)

Electricity companies less transparent than claimed - Multiple discrepancies found in sustainability reports

Press release - Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) Amsterdam, December 20th, 2012 There are systematic, widespread and significant discrepancies between what electricity companies claim they are reporting on and the information they actually provide in their sustainability reports. These discrepancies diminish the accuracy and credibility of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and lead to whitewashing of business conduct. In a report published today, the Centre (...)

The Social Dialogue Committee for Central Government Administrations signs its first framework agreement

TUNED / EUPAE Press Communication – 19 December 2012 (French version below) The European social partners[*], meeting in Brussels on Wednesday 12 December 2012 and represented by EUPAE for the employers and TUNED for the trade unions, have signed their first European framework agreement for a Quality Service in Central Government Administrations. The public services work in the general interest, a role whose necessity has been brought home to everyone by the economic crisis in which we (...)

EPSU welcomes the vote in Parliament for a FTT

(EPSU Press Communication, 14 December 2012) On 12 December 2012, the European Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of enhanced cooperation on a financial transaction tax (FTT). EPSU welcomes the vote that gives the green light to at least 11 countries to implement a FTT - Germany, France, Italy, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Belgium, Austria, Portugal and Slovenia. Amongst them, the FTT is expected to raise €37 billion annually. The revenue should contribute to (...)

New study on pay and other social clauses in European public procurement from EPSU

(Press Communication, 13 December 2012) The week before an important vote in the European Parliament on public procurement, EPSU’s study (*) provides timely insight into the importance of pay and other social clauses in public contracts. In 2010 EU Member States spent more than 2,400 billion Euros on buying works, goods and services through public procurement. As Eurobaromoter surveys show, most Europeans want that this money to be spent ‘socially’ and over half of EU Member States (...)

European Mayors support Water and Sanitation as a Human Right

(Press Communication, 10 December 2012) Today, 10 December, is Human Rights Day. On this occasion mayors from 10 major European cities in 8 different countries are launching an appeal to their citizens to support the first ever up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) calling for the implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation into European law. www.right2water.eu. The ECI is a new direct democracy tool introduced by Lisbon Treaty. It requires the collection of one (...)

Austerity facilitates tax dodging in Europe

Public service unions’ campaign to crack down on tax dodgers not public sector workers (6 December, Cyprus) A delegation of EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, in cooperation with its Cypriot affiliate, PASYDY, met yesterday on 5 December in Nicosia to implement the EPSU campaign against tax fraud and avoidance. The meeting coincides with the European Commission’s new plan to tackle tax fraud including tax heavens expected to be published today. Amid recent scandals (...)

European institutions staff strike today!

(Brussels 21 November) Yesterday European Union staff in Brussels decided to down their tools and assemble outside the heart of the European Union quarter, in the Schuman roundabout, to protest again for the cuts imposed on them. All the trade unions within European institutions have decided to go on strike as a follow up of their successful action on November 16. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) fully supports European Union institutions employees and their trade (...)

Press launch - EPSU closing the tax gap campaign - 7 November 2012 Brussels

Where has the money gone? Missing €1Trillion in Europe EPSU calls to stop tax dodging and invest in tax services to finance the welfare state (31 October 2012) A new European campaign is going to be launch at the time of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) Executive Committee. The campaign flows from the EPSU tax justice agenda alongside demands for a Financial Transactions Tax, EU common principles on progressive and efficient tax systems, a common corporate tax, and (...)

Austerity strikes the EU Institutions - EU staff on strike on 8 and 16 November 2012

EPSU Press communication – embargoed for 5 November (Brussels 31 October) On 22 and 23 November the European Council is due to decide on the EU budget, the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework. The EU Commission proposes to make savings of 1 billion €, but some Member States have tabled extreme proposals foreseeing reductions of up to 15 billion €. For that matter the trade unions within European institutions have decided to go on strike in the month of November. The European (...)

Commitment to strengthening European sectoral social dialogue in Prague

Joint press release – 15 October 2012 Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) (15 October 2012) In today’s European social, economic and political crisis-ridden context, local and regional authorities as employers and trade unions have committed to strengthening the European sectoral social dialogue in the local and regional government sector. This commitment has been translated into a series of 12 recommendations that are (...)

EPSU welcomes political will to launch a Financial Transactions Tax in Europe

(Press communication, 11 October 2012) At the 9 October ECOFIN Council, 11 governments agreed to launch a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). This is two more countries than required to kick off the enhanced cooperation procedure that allows groups of countries to move forward without the agreement of all 27 members. The 11 pro-FTT Eurozone countries are France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia. The European Federation of Public (...)

International trade unions stand with Turkish workers in jail!

(3 October 2012 - Press Communication) On October 4, 15 female members of the confederation of Public Employees trade unions (KESK) will be in court accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation, while simply trying to organise women workers and fight for better jobs and conditions. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is mobilizing its members in solidarity with KEKS members in court. The international trade union movement has been observing the alarming situation (...)

New research on water companies in EU: remunicipalisation and resistance to austerity imposed privatization

(Brussels, 24 September 2012) A major new research paper on the activities of the water companies in Europe reveals a series of trends: The ownership of private water companies in Europe in 2010 has become even more concentrated than before. It is now more than ever overwhelmingly dominated by the French multinational Suez Environment (part of GdFSuez) and Veolia. Both Suez and Veolia, and other smaller companies such as SAUR (French) and FCC (Spanish), are increasingly dependent on (...)

“Water is a Human Right!” is the first ever European Citizens Initiative!

(Press Communication - 4 September 2012) The first ever fully up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) is launched. "Water is a Human Right!" will be the first ECI in the history of the European Union to be collecting online and paper signatures. The website of the ECI is www.right2water.eu This ECI is backed by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and a broad coalition of European civil society organisations (European Environmental Bureau, European Anti Poverty (...)

New report underlines challenges for Europe’s energy companies, the trade unions and European Works Councils

(Brussels, 7 September 2012 - Press Release) A new report from the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), University of Greenwich explores ongoing developments in the European energy market since the opening of the electricity and gas markets The report shows the challenges for workers, unions and European Works Council of dealing with reduction of emissions, problems with nuclear developments and continued merger and takeover activities including of networks and by private (...)

The demands of the Troika to Greece for further labour market reforms are totally unacceptable

(Brussels 6 September - Press Release) The European Federation of Public Service Unions has come to know a leaked document prepared by the Troika imposing and overseeing the implementation of austerity policies in Greece and composed of representatives of the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF demanding further labour market reforms from the Greek government. This is totally unacceptable. The proposals include the dismantling of the labour inspectorate as well as increasing the (...)

EPSU supports Spanish and Italian workers on the streets against austerity today!

(Brussels 18 July 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) sends a message of solidarity to their Spanish affiliates UGT, CCOO & USO in this moment of struggle against the unjust measures imposed by the Popular Party Government against the majority of the population and with special focus on public sector workers and the unemployed. The Spanish government is again attacking the civil servants: they have now lost their extra pay for Christmas, which adds to the cuts (...)

International and European Unions say "Stop attacks on Trade Unions in Turkey !"

(EPSU Press communication, Brussels 5 July) In the last few months we have seen an unprecedented clampdown on Turkish trade unionists. Today at least 73 members of the public sector union KESK are in prison, some of them without charges. Some others, as KESK President, have been released on bail. The European Federation of Public Sector Unions (EPSU) has sent letters to the Turkish Government without reply, these joint letters with Public Services International (PSI) and the International (...)

Growth needs public services – austerity damage needs repairing

(Brussels 28 June - EPSU Press communication) The European Council may today agree a growth compact. This would be a very much needed step in the right direction but still it would fail to address the damage inflicted by austerity measures on public services. Public services are crucial to the growth agenda but evidence compiled by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) shows how safety and environmental services are among those under serious threat from cutbacks. EPSU (...)

FTT in some countries is better than none!

(Brussels 27 June, Press Communication) Today, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), ahead of the European Council on 28-29 June, has sent a letter to the Danish and Cypriot Finance ministers urging them to support enhanced cooperation for a Financial Transactions Tax ( FTT). Despite the fact that unanimity of the EU 27 governments was not reached on the last ECOFIN meeting of 22 June, Europe has still a chance to implement an FTT and the European Union Presidency has (...)

Press release - One million signatures for water as a Human Right has started !

(21 June 2012) On April 1st the first European Citizens Initiative (ECI) on water was registered at the European Commission (EC). This ECI is sponsored by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and it enjoys broad support from civil society at European level as well as in all 27 European Union (EU) Member States. On May 10th we officially started to collect signatures and today June 21st we give the starting signal for the paper collection. In tens of European cities (...)

Transnational company agreement on Equality

(EPSU Press communication - 7 June 2012) A new transnational company agreement was signed between representatives of the European trade union federations and management of GdfSuez, the French multi-utility company, 5 June 2012, Paris. The agreement aims to define unjustified differences between men and women and remove these to achieve pay equality between men and women and taking account of all salary elements and achieving a better balance between professional and family life. The (...)

Press Com: To mark UN International Day of Families EPSU calls for alternatives to detention of migrant children

(15 May 2012) EPSU has joined the Global Campaign to end immigration detention of children, launched by the International Detention Coalition on 21 March 2012 condemning the use of detention as a common migration management tool. This campaign focuses on child detention by promoting stories of children and parents from all over the world who have experienced or been impacted by immigration detention. Key aims of the campaign are both to spread the stories of those children who have (...)

EPSU Press Communication: EPSU Executive rejects Monti II Regulation – Labour is not a commodity – Hands off the right to strike

(7 May 2012) The European Commission has proposed a regulation to deal with the right to strike. This has become important as there are more trans-border situations in which employers seek to exploit differences between EU countries in pay and conditions as well as legal protection. The European Court of Justice ruled in the Laval and Viking cases in favour of limiting the right to strike arguing that the free movement of goods and services is more important. Europe’s union movement has (...)

People use ballot box to reject austerity policies

(8 May 2012) Workers, their families and communities have had an opportunity to express themselves on the austerity policies of their governments as pursued in tandem with the European Commission during recent local, regional and national elections this weekend. The results demonstrate that the extremely divisive set of policies undermining social rights and slashing public services are not supported by large parts of the population. The newly elected French president François Hollande (...)

Paris, London and Munich Re-Municipalized! Is your community following the trend?

EPSU Press Release - 7 May 2012 EPSU trade union representatives from more than 20 European countries will discuss at the EPSU Annual Conference Local and Regional Government in Riga on the 8th of May about the advantages and challenges of remunicipalization. Local and Regional authorities across Europe are responsible for the delivery of a wide range of services to citizens, which include: public passenger transport, public utility services (water supply and waste water treatment, waste (...)

EPSU welcomes the EP vote in favour of a Financial Transactions Tax

(Press Communication, 27 April 2012) EPSU welcomes the vote in European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee on 25 April in favour of a Financial Transactions Tax in Europe, as a first and essential step towards a global FTT. The vote in plenary is scheduled for 21-24 May 2012.

European Commission support for corporate interests Repsol over people’s interest is scandalous

EPSU Press communication (18 April 2012) Argentine President Kirchner stated that she will propose to the Argentine Parliament the partial nationalisation of the oil company YPF. YPF is a subsidiary of Spanish oil company Repsol, which owns 57% of the shares. Repsol is shouting out loud how unjust this is and seeks international arbitration. The Spanish government is threatening revenge. It is followed by most commentators in the media in supporting the interests of the company. But most (...)

Media Advisory: First European Citizens’ Initiative on water launched on April 1st

(28 March 2012) On April 1st a new legal tool enters into force in the European Union (EU) to increase the citizens participation in the decision making process. The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a democratic tool for citizens to set the EU political agenda. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is sponsoring this ECI together with a broad range of European organisations (European Anti-Poverty Network, European Environmental Bureau..). Public sector trade unions (...)

Water Citizens’ Initiative launches its campaign website

Press release, 22 March, World Water Day – Launch of the website www.right2water.eu for European Citizen Initiative “Water is a Human Right not a commodity” sponsored by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). This website will be one of the tools for the collection of signatures. The next step will be to submit the initiative to the European Commission on 2 April. The European Commission then has up to two months to validate the European Citizens Initiative (ECI). After the (...)

European Citizens’ Initiative on water as a Human Right presented in Marseille

EPSU Press communication, (Marseille 18 March) During both the World Water Forum and the Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille this week, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) announced the first European Citizens’ Initiative that will be lodged with the European Commission (EC) on April 1. EPSU is sponsoring this citizen campaign to achieve the implementation of Water as a Human Right, per the United Nations Declaration passed on 28 July 2010. The ECI petition also (...)

Alternative Water forum overcomes World Water Forum

EPSU Press communication (March 7, 2012) A week before the opening of the World Water Forum in Marseille, campaigners rejoice in the success of the Alternative event taking place in parallel during the corporate event. The European Coordination (see members below*) of the Alternative World Water Forum (FAME) organised a Public hearing at the European Parliament in light of the Resolution that the European Parliament is debating on March 15th on the World Water Forum. The Alternative (...)

Union women – at the heart of the struggle for basic trade union rights

Public Services International and EPSU celebrates International Women’s Day - 8 March On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2012, Public Services International recognises and applauds the work of women trade unionists, who are always at the very heart of our struggle for human and labour rights and equality. We express our solidarity with our sisters who place themselves on the front line, delivering vital public services to the most vulnerable in our communities. We call on governments to (...)

Council set to ignore attack on public services and plight of public sector workers

EPSU Press communication (28 February 2012) As Greece submits to further austerity measures and deep cuts in public spending continue to be imposed by other governments around Europe, the European Council meets this week to conclude the first phase of the European Semester. A new report for the European Federation of Public Service Unions and by the European Trade union Institute (ETUI) exposes the major gaps and inconsistencies in this process and why it is failing to provide an adequate (...)

EPSU demands another solution for the Greek people than austerity and more crisis

Press release, 9 February 2012 (Greek & French versions below) “The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) stands in solidarity with the Greek trade union movement”, says Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, General Secretary of EPSU, on the eve of another 48h General Strike coming Friday and Saturday. This strike is to demonstrate opposition against the proposal to reduce the minimum wage to 520€ and to abolish collective agreements. “This is punishing those workers who have problems (...)

Enough is enough! Stop the social damage!

EPSU Press communication (24 January 2012) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is supporting and participating in the press conference that the European Trade Union Confederation is organizing on 25 January. EPSU has been at the forefront of the mobilisation against austerity and for public services, like our European mobilisitation of November 30th shows. We call to put an end to the social damage and to stop austerity measures that eat away at the purchasing power of (...)

Trade unions say no to austerity with actions across Europe on 30 November

For immediate release – 29 November 2011 On Wednesday 30 November, public sector workers will protest against austerity measures in more than 25 European countries, following a call for action by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). Actions will include strikes, demonstrations and public marches. In Britain, unions are planning the largest strike since 1926 - to oppose changes to public sector workers’ pensions. In Portugal, following the most successful general strike (...)

2nd Annual Growth Survey unbalanced - throws us deeper into recession

Press Communication, 23 November 2011 The European Commission has published today its second Annual Growth Survey. According to the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), the Commission continues with the known litany of recommendations to Member States: fiscal austerity, completing the internal market and more flexibility of the labour market and of wages. With other words the European Commission asks people in Europe to tighten their belts, forsake good quality public (...)

“One Hundred does not always mean One Hundred” denounce Czech health unions

(Press Communication, 14 November 2011) The Government must fulfill its commitments towards wages for health professionals in the Czech Republic. Several health trade unions in the Czech Republic demand to the Government to keep the promises made to trade unions after the doctors mobilization of last year. The Government promised a 10% raise, for all medical staff, now they are back tracking. The raise promised by the Minister of Health should be part of the annual budget decree. Health (...)

Public service unions in Europe coordinate action against austerity!

(Press release, 10 November 2011) The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Services (EPSU) decided to coordinate on November 30th across Europe a day of joint action against austerity and for Social Europe. This coincides with the meeting of the Council of Finance Ministers in Brussels and with the Employment Council the day after. Angry about the inability of European leaders to define a positive solution to the crisis and following many national actions by public (...)

Canada - EU trade agreement: a Trojan horse against public services

(Press communication – 7 November 2011) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), the Austrian Trade Union Federation (OGB) office in Brussels and the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (AK) organise a meeting to launch a major study that questions the objectives, motivation and rationale behind proposed changes to the current definition of public services and trade agreements. In the current context of crisis and indebted local and regional governments, the CETA (...)

Trading away public services – How the EU handles its FTA negotiations

Media Advisory (27 October 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), the Austrian trade union federation (OGB) office in Brussels and organisations of the Canadian civil society organise a press conference to present the study “Public services in bilateral free trade agreements of the EU” carried out by Professor Markus Krajewski, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. The study examines the possible implications of proposed changes in the way public services are dealt with (...)

Municipal and regional employers and trade unions deeply concerned about the effects of the crisis

(Press communication – 24 October 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the Employers Platform of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR-EP) met on 21 October for the Sectoral Social Dialogue Meeting Local and Regional Government to update their joint analysis on the impact and consequences of austerity measures on the public service in local and regional government. Municipal employers and trade unions both are deeply concerned about the (...)

European health workers must not be the scapegoats of the crisis. Decent work is needed to improve Europe’s health

(19 October 2011- Press Communication) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) held the biggest gathering in 2011 of health workers in Europe to discuss the effects of the crisis on health and Social Services workers. EPSU is the biggest organization of workers in Europe in the health sector. About 100 people from more than 27 European countries attended the event. The conference discussed the challenges that the crisis is putting on the different health systems of Europe. (...)

EPSU seeks changes to the Council of Europe’s draft prison staff Code of ethics and warns against the effects of austerity measures on prisons

(18 October 2011, press communication) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), representing a majority of unionised prison staff in Europe, seeks changes to the Council of Europe’s draft Code of ethics for prison staff. More than 300.000 men and women work in prisons in Europe. They carry out a demanding dangerous job in a context of an ever-increasing prison population. The ongoing austerity measures mean fewer resources for prison and probation services as well as (...)

Europeanisation of health policies and systems: challenges for the health workers

European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) organises the biggest gathering in 2011 of health workers in Europe to discuss the effects of the crisis on health and Social Services workers in Bucharest on 18 and 19 October. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) organises 8 million workers across the public sector. One of our core sectors is Health and Social Services. EPSU is the biggest organization of workers in Europe in the health sector. Over 100 health workers (...)

Workers demand decent jobs and say No to austerity across Europe

(Brussels 7 October) Today, we are celebrating the 4th World Day for Decent Work with unprecedented unrest due to the attacks on working conditions and workers, specially public sector workers in Europe. There is mounting pressure on banks, financial institutions and speculators to take their responsibility for the economic crisis. More than 400 actions across 70 countries coordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and supported by EPSU affiliates in many European (...)

Three health workers injured in France : EPSU condemns disproportionate police intervention !

(Brussels 7 October) On October 6th three health workers have been injured during a demonstration in Lyon organized by the personnel of the non-profit health and social sector. Two of them are seriously injured. The convener of the CGT union of the Clinic of Saint-Etienne, the third injured, is critically ill in hospital. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) expresses its support with these three workers. Together with other protesters they have been attacked with (...)

Financial Transactions Tax directive: Victory on the principle

(29 September 2011) Press communication The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the draft directive for a financial transactions tax for Europe adopted by the Commission on 28 September 2011. This is a victory for the coalition of trade unions, NGOs and political parties, that battled hard for a FTT in the EU as a first step towards a global tax. EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach Pyttel said “We have won on 2 principles, the need to crack down on financial (...)

EPSU backs ETUC warnings of wage repression

(September 30) Press communication. Public service workers across Europe, already suffering from the impact of austerity measures, are likely to face further pressure on wages and jobs as the European institutions call for major reforms in collective bargaining systems. The European Commission, Council and Central Bank have been stepping up their campaign for greater flexibility in wage bargaining across Europe. Their focus is on wage flexibility, an end to indexation and further (...)

EP approves the straight-jacket of austerity – no perspective on jobs

(29 September 2011 - Press Communication) The European Parliament approved legislative measures which put a straight jacket on the countries of the European Union, 28 September. The measures aim to address excessive public deficits, reduce public debt and correct macro-economic imbalances but do nothing to enhance growth and create jobs. The package does not stimulate investment in public services and infrastructure nor in the green economy. These measures do not address the causes of the (...)

Gender pay gap widens following cuts to public sector jobs and pay

(EPSU press release, Brussels 28 July 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has sent an open letter to European Commissioner Viviane Reding (read below) demanding that it takes action to ensure that the work done to date to close the gender pay gap is not rolled back as a result of the cuts implemented across Europe as governments seek to reduce their deficits in the wake of the banking bailouts. Speaking on behalf of the more than 5 million women affiliated to EPSU, (...)

European organisations celebrate the 1st anniversary of the UN resolution on the human right to water

Brussels 28 July 2011 – Civil society organisations, collectives and trade unions [1] gather around public water fountains today in Brussels to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the UN General Assembly resolution on the human right to water. 2011 has been an important year for public water in Europe, increased citizen participation has played a major role in the issues of water supply management and wastewater treatment, allowing populations to take a giant step toward (...)

European Social Partners in the Hospital Sector meet Health Commissioner John Dalli

(July 12) Godfrey Perera, Secretary General of HOSPEEM (European hospital and healthcare employers’ association) and Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, General Secretary (European Federation of Public Service Unions) met yesterday Commissioner John Dalli to discuss cooperation between DG SANCO and the recognised European Social Partners in the hospital and healthcare sector. The meeting built the foundation for co-operation with the social partners in the hospital and health care sector. Commissioner (...)

CEMR Employers’ Platform and EPSU welcome EU tool for application of social criteria to public procurement

(6 July 2011) The Council of European Municipalities and Regions’ Employers’ Platform (CEMR-EP) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcome the European Commission Guide on socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) as a tool to better explain how social criteria could be applied to public procurement and to help socially responsible purchasing. However, in the context of the current revision of public procurement rules, the CEMR-EP and EPSU recall that benefits (...)

Joint PR from the network for sustainable development in public procurement - key demands and messages

Joint press release on the occasion of the European Commission’s Conference “Modernising public procurement” 30 June 2011 KEY DEMANDS AND MESSAGES FROM THE NETWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT (30 June 2011) The Network for Sustainable Development in Public Procurement (EPSU, GMB, UNISON, EMF, EFFAT, EFBWW, SOLIDAR, EFTA, Fairtrade International, WFTO-Europe, FERN, EMCEF, Ver.di, TUC, ENSIE, UNI Europa, Setem, and NETWORKWEAR) on the occasion of the European (...)

Conservative majorities impose austerity on Europe

PRESS RELEASE (June 24) Yesterday, the conservative dominated European Parliament voted in favour of the compromises reached with the Council regarding the 6 legislative measures on economic governance. For the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), this means forcing Member States into a strait-jacket that will squeeze public services, cut public spending and put pressure on the wages of nurses, teachers, police, fire-fighters, refuse collectors, tax-inspectors, child and (...)

Celebrating World Public Services Day - Time to put the heart back into Europe

Joint press release (Brussels 23 June 2011) On the occasion of World Public Services day, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), UNI Europa, the European Service Workers’ Union and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW), endorse the Quality Public Services—Action Now! campaign launched by the Council of Global Unions today . They warn European (...)

Global Day of Action for the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) brings success!

Press release – 23 June 2011 (June 23) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) together with Public Services International (PSI) have been campaigning for a ‘Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) Now’ at Global level on the Global Day of Action. A huge diversity of events, bringing together thousands of organisations, have been taking place across five continents: from Brussels to New York, Brazil to Nepal they demonstrate the global support for a FTT, popularly known in many (...)

Les Maires de Bruxelles et Nantes demandent la Taxe sur les Transactions Financières (TTF)

Communication à la presse – 22 juin 2011 En ce 22 juin 2011, journée internationale pour la taxe sur les transactions financières, les maires de Bruxelles et de Nantes, Freddy Thielemans et Jean-Marc Ayrault, réaffirment leur demande pour une telle taxe, et ceci initialement dans l’Union Européenne. Dans un entretien de haut niveau avec la Secrétaire Générale de la Fédération Syndicale Européenne des Services Publics (FSESP), Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, ils se félicitent du vote favorable du Parlement (...)

The European Union fails to deliver on maternity according to trade unions

(Press release – 20 June 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) expresses its deep concern that the EU Employment and Social Affairs have failed, yet again, to make progress on the revision of the pregnant workers directive which would provide improved maternity rights for millions of women across the EU. At the meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 17 June, the EU Employment Ministers were unable, and in some (...)

Productivity in the public sector: we reject excuses for cuts to jobs and pay!

EPSU Press Communication – 16 June 2011 Service quality and well-being at work must be part of any debate about productivity The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is entering the final stages of its project about productivity in the public sector. The project report will be based on first hand experience across Europe and it has been commissioned from the Working Life Research Centre of Vienna (FORBA) and independent researcher David Tarren. The confused debate about the (...)

EPSU welcomes the result of the Italian water referendum !

EPSU Press Communication – 14 June 2011 The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the magnificent result of the referendum that took place in Italy on 12 and 13 June. More than 55% of Italians voted in the Referendum against the privatisation of water and local public services. Over 95% of those that voted said yes to public water! This means that more than 26 million people have expressed their opposition to the privatisation plans, despite the fact that (...)

Alternatives to austerity center-stage at ETUC Congress

(Athens 17 May 2011) Today the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Congress discussed a new economic narrative for Europe. Trade union delegates urged EU institutions to go back to the heart of Europe and stop undermining trade union rights, jobs, pay and public services. The question is not whether we say yes to Europe or not, but which direction Europe should take. “The European Commission is perverting the spirit of the Lisbon Treaty and its foundations; social protection, decent (...)

European trade unions say: Fewer prisoners - Better prisons!

(Athens, 12 May 2011) Ahead of the largest gathering of European trade unions organising prison staff in Athens on 12 May, a European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)-led delegation visited Korydallos prison, one of the biggest prisons in Greece. The delegation from 17 European countries was appalled by the dreadful detention conditions and the implications for staff. Prison overcrowding and lack of staff jeopardise the health and safety of staff and inmates alike and prevent (...)

EPSU to Hungarian EU Presidency: recognize importance of qualified workforce in EU energy 2050 strategy

(12 May 2011) Energy issues are high on the European Union agenda. The EU is debating its 2020 energy strategy. It considers an energy infrastructure package with investments in new technologies, generation capacity and networks, including smart and supergrid. It promotes reduction of CO2 emissions with 20% in 2020 and even 30% if there is an international agreement. The Commission has published a roadmap to a low carbon society by 2050 which foresees cuts in the CO2 emissions of the power (...)

Trade unions working for better prison services conference, 12 May 2011, Athens

(Press notice 10 May 2011) 140 trade union delegates organising prison staff from 17 European countries are expected at an EPSU-OSYE conference Trade unions working for better prison services in Athens on 12 May 2011. A press conference will be held on 13 May from 10 till 12h00. The conference will be the largest gathering of delegates representing prison guards, probation, health and educational staff working in prisons in Europe since the EPSU action day against prison overcrowding (...)

Time to speak out about the silent crisis - years of work on equal pay and gender equality under threat

(EPSU Press release 5 May 2011) At its annual meeting, the European Federation of Public Service Unions’ (EPSU) Women and Gender Equality Committee, debated the impact that the economic crisis and the austerity policies being imposed by Governments across Europe are having on women workers in the public sector and on gender equality generally. The meeting discussed the preliminary findings of EPSU commissioned research on the impact of public sector pay and job cuts on women in four (...)

Anger of European Citizens is understandable

(EPSU Press release 19 April 2011) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) shows its understanding with the rage of European citizens about the ECON Governance voted today at the European Parliament. After a proposal of the Socialist and Democrats Group (S&D) to postpone the vote of the Economic Governance package was rejected by the ECON Committee a group of activists showed its anger shouting in favour of Social Europe and against the proposals. MEPs continued its (...)

No to austerity! Yes to Social Europe!

(14 April 2011) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), supported by the European Trade Union Congress (ETUC) is organising a protest to mark our opposition to the far reaching economic government proposals of the Commission EPSU and ETUC continue the “No to Austerity” campaign that started with the successful demonstrations in Brussels 29 September. The following step of the campaign was on December 15 2010. Also, on 24 March 2011 more than 30.000 people marched in (...)

Public service unions stress need to address opt-out and on-call time in working time debate

(April 18 2011) Meeting yesterday in Brussels the Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) confirmed its position on the Working Time Directive and in particular the need to abolish the individual opt-out and codify key European court rulings on on-call time at work. The Federation has made it clear that it would take part in cross-sectoral negotiations if specific conditions were met. The European Commission claims that it is not realistic to talk (...)

EPSU will demonstrate as the informal ECOFIN meets in Budapest

(8 April, Budapest) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) will demonstrate tomorrow as the informal meeting of the EU ministers of finance, taking place in Budapest, will be finishing. The EU ministers of finance will discuss the scoreboard of indicators that is to be used in the new European policy process on economic governance. EPSU, as well as the European Trade Union Confederation, are very concerned about the wage indicators that are going to be created, and its (...)

EPSU supports new webpetition to show the Commission citizens support a European Financial Transaction Tax

(April 6) Today the Europeans for Financial Reform (EFFR), a coalition of trade unions, Socialists and Greens, and social /labour linked NGOs has launched a web tool to help citizens to respond to the European Commission’s public consultation on “Taxation of the Financial Sector” by 19 April next. As an active member of the EFFR, EPSU fully supports the multilingual, easy to use webtool to voice support against the powerful voices of the financial lobbies that keep the upper hand in (...)

Europe must oppose speculation and tax financial transactions!

(Press Release, 28 March 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) finds the final decisions of the European Council disappointing. The European austerity agenda has been adopted and all Eurozone countries are committed to introducing “debt brakes” in their legislation, with 6 non-Eurozone countries following the same road. However, public deficits and public debts did not cause the financial and economic crisis – rather it was lax regulation on the financial sector and (...)

Right to Water and Sanitation must be put into action! Universal access is a government responsibility!

On World Water Day, 22 March 2011, the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) calls on the European Union and Member States to implement the United Nations resolution on the Right to Water and Sanitation without delay. The UN General Assembly voted on 28 July 2010 for this resolution which declares that access to water and sanitation services is a fundamental human right. Although this resolution has no binding authority, it expresses global consensus. Shamefully several EU (...)

EPSU welcomes the stress test for the nuclear power stations following the nuclear accident in Japan

(March 16, 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the fact that the European Commission and Member States have decided to apply a “stress test” for the nuclear power stations in Europe as well as to develop the criteria for it. This follows the dramatic and tragic events in Japan with the nuclear power station of Fukushima-Daiichi and its six units. Those catastrophes have been caused as a consequence of the earthquake and tsunami which resulted in the (...)

Yes to an EU Tax on Financial Transactions, the European Parliament shame faces the Commission

(March 8, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) welcomes today’s plenary vote for a European Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). By a cross-majority of MEPs of 360 to 299 with 12 abstentions, Euro MEPs have supported the reintroduction of an EPSU-backed call for an EU FTT in Podimata (Greek Socialist and Democrat) Report on innovative financing. “With the strong back up of the labour movement, social NGOs and the Austrian Chamber of Labour, Parliament has shown (...)

100th International Women’s Day: Austerity, celebrating the setback for gender equality in Europe!

(March 8) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) wants to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the celebration of working women. In 1911 after the call by Clara Zetkin hundreds of thousands of women, many of them trade union members, demonstrated for equality, justice and fair pay. Today, the public sector employs more than 60 % of women in Europe. The economic crisis which governments shortsightedly resolve by unilateral austerity measures and ensuing pay cuts in the (...)

EPSU urges European Parliament to support an EU Financial Transactions Tax now!

(March 2, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) is heavily campaigning to introduce a Financial Transactions Tax – FTT- at EU level, as a first, but significant, step. Amid unprecedented public spending cuts, EPSU urge citizens to contact their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to convince them we need an EU FTT to help tackle public deficits caused by the crisis and reduce speculation. On this website: citizens can contact in their native (...)

Don’t take that road: EPSU warns against marketization of prison services in Denmark

(Brussels 2 March) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) wants to send a signal of warning about the plans of privatisation announced in Denmark. Media reports about Danish government’s plans to privatise prison services are rightly worrying EPSU’s Danish affiliate OAO. “ Privatising parts or all operation of prison services has been on the agenda since the early 80s. In the European Union, the UK is the only country that has fully privatised the finance, design, (...)

Commission urged to take account of latest research on working time

(2 March 2011) EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, sent a clear message to the European Commission calling for the protection provided by the Working Time Directive to be upheld and urging the Commission to take more account of the research it specifically commissioned. EPSU general secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel said: “It is disappointing that the Commission’s Communication seems to ignore many of the findings of the report by the Deloitte consultancy. The (...)

EPSU rejects European threats on wage cuts and interference in Collective Bargaining

(Brussels 24 February) The first meeting of the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) Economic Policy Group has a clear message for the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Claude Trichet. He commented last weekend that ‘increasing wages would be the ultimate error to be committed’ [see the reference below]. He singled out the German public sector wages which have stayed behind the European average with 15-20% points as the model to follow. Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU (...)

Despite alternatives to austerity the European Commission keeps a blind eye on public sector cuts

(23 February Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) held a conference on austerity, economic governance and social policies in Europe today and yesterday. More than 200 academics, trade unionists, policy makers and other European actors met to discuss the current Economic Governance proposals. This event was a dialogue about the alternatives. The conference was opened by Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary who said that “the term economic governance (...)

EPSU calls for a FTT at European level as G20 meets

(Brussels 17 February - Press Communication) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) urges G20 Finance Ministers, meeting in Paris tomorrow, to take action to avoid a jobless recovery and fulfill earlier promises to reform the international financial market in response to people’s real needs. We ask for a progressive agenda on financial regulation and fair tax, especially through the introduction of a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). European leaders at the G20 must take (...)

Europe needs a social and sustainable energy policy

PRESS RELEASE (4 February 2011) The European Council will discuss Europe´s energy strategy till 2020 today. The European Federation of Public Services Unions demands that the Council develops a coherent energy policy with clear social and sustainable priorities in the line with the European Trade Union Congress (ETUC) position on Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020 () The EU strategy must lay the cornerstones for an EU policy closely linking the economy, society and environment. The current (...)

New EC "Buying Social" guide: a giant step for the EC, a small step for sustainable procurement

PRESS RELEASE Brussels – 28 January 2011 – The European Commission has launched today the long-awaited “Buying social: a guide to take account of social considerations in public procurement”. A network of trade unions, social and sustainable development organisations considers this guide fails to reflect the true potential of public procurement as an instrument in support of social and sustainable development objectives. Much more is needed if the EU and Member States are to live up to the EU (...)

Europe must take its responsibility to implement a Financial Transaction Tax

(2 February 2011, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) is highly disappointed by the decision taken by the European Parliament Economic and Financial Affairs Committee (ECON) yesterday, 1 February, rejecting the compromise amendment that the majority of political groups had agreed to start to implement a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) in Europe. As World leaders meet in Davos (Switzerland) and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy pleads for the introduction (...)

Latvian EPSU affiliate LVSADA receives Silver Rose Award 2011

(20 January Brussels) The Latvian Trade Union of Health and Social Care Employees (LVSADA), the biggest health and social care trade union in Latvia and EPSU affiliate will be given one of the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards 2011. With this award SOLIDAR, a European network of 52 Non Governmental Organisations, active in over 90 countries working to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide, wants to raise awareness and public support for LVSADA’s fight against the cuts in Latvian health (...)

Arrest of Portuguese trade unionist is unacceptable!

(19 January 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and Public Services International (PSI) strongly condemn the arrest of trade union leaders and activists during a rally before the Prime Minister’s official residence in Portugal, on Tuesday 18 January 2011. We understand that police action used physical aggression against union members and also detained two trade union leaders who were taken to the local police offices. One of those arrested is José Manuel MARQUES, (...)

Draft Directive on patient’s rights in cross-border health care – hope for reasonable compromise

Press release (Brussels, 18 January 2011) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), that organises workers amongst others in the health sector, ahead of the vote in the European Parliament’s plenary on the draft directive on patient’s rights in cross-border health care on Wednesday, 19 January, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary qualifies the compromise achieved through the trilogue meeting of 15 December “as reasonable”. “We are satisfied that some of our major (...)

European Commission endangers European social model

(Brussels, January 12) Yesterday the European Trade Union Confederation, by the hand of John Monks, General Secretary, issued a letter (see attached) to the European Commission accusing the EC officials of “are ignoring social dialogue and collective bargaining processes and directly intervening in the labour markets of these countries. Diktats are being issued which are designed to lower living standards. Thus proposals are coming from the Commission which are designed to cut minimum wages (...)

EPSU argues that end of individual opt-out has to be part of working time review

(22 December 2010) Around 12% of the EU workforce - over 28 million people - still work more than 48 hours a week, according to the fifth European Working Conditions Survey*. This is down from 15% in 2000 but marks very slow progress and reflects the fundamental weakness at the heart of the Working Time Directive - the individual opt-out. Yesterday the European Commission launched a second phase review of the Working Time Directive. The consultation suggests one way forward is to (...)

EPSU and HOSPEEM signed a Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention on 17 December 2010

(Press Communication, 21 December 2010) This framework constitutes an important basis for social partners at European and national levels to develop concrete action to tackle staff shortages and qualification needs now and in the future. "Our framework shows that social partners can produce practical results that will improve health care delivery in the interest of patients, health care providers and workers. To have the right workforce planning mechanisms in place is key from an (...)

European Social Dialogue Committee in central government administrations: a huge achievement !

(PR 21 December 2010) On 17 December 2010, TUNED and EUPAE established a European Social Dialogue Committee for central government administrations (Genval, Belgium). TUNED spokesperson and co-chair of the Committee, Mr Charles Cochrane (PCS, UK) says "This is a huge achievement. At long last, state sector workers and employers have the same rights at EU level as other sectors of the economy. Central government is recognised as a sector in its own right and we will do our best to contribute (...)

Trade unions leaders ask for a change of course to the European Council

(15 December) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) demonstrated today from 11am at Schuman on the eve of the last European Council of the European Union of 2010. Trade union leaders Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary, John Monks, ETUC General Secretary, Anne-Marie Perret, EPSU President and Joël Decaillon, Deputy General Secretary demanded the EU to change its current route of cuts and austerity. Carola (...)

Launch of European Social Dialogue Committee in Central government administrations

(EPSU PR 14 December 2010) On 17 December 2010, the EPSU-led trade union delegation, TUNED, and, the employers’ organisation, EUPAE, will establish a European Social Dialogue committee for central government administrations (Genval, Belgium). “This is a huge achievement, after years of informal discussions, for the 7 million employees and civil servants working in the state sector. Central government is now recognised as a sector in its own right. In the face of unprecedented cuts in public (...)

EPSU-CEMR Joint statement to the European Council meeting 16 December

European Trade union leaders speak on the European Day of action

(13 December Brussels) Call for Press Conference: Wednesday 15 December at 1pm at Residence Palace, Brussels The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) jointly with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) will hold a press conference at the Residence Palace this coming Wednesday 15 December at 1pm in the Maelbeek room. The press conference will take place after the actions organised by EPSU and the ETUC in the framework of the European Day of action. Trade union (...)

EPSU demands that Public Sector workers should not pay for the crisis!

(9 December 2010) Governments are attacking the wrong target. This is the message of a report published by the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU). The report (see attached), “The wrong target – how governments are making public sector workers pay for the crisis” was launched at a major conference gathering over 100 trade unionists from more than 27 European States. It looks at eight countries in the EU which have cut the pay of their public sector employees and what the (...)

European workers voices propose alternatives to ECOFIN

(6 December 2010) The European Federation of Public Services Union (EPSU) organises a Press conference on Tuesday 7 December 2010 at 13.15h at the International Trade Union House (ITUH, Boulevard du Roi Albert II 5 in Brussels) as the ECOFIN ministers will be meeting in the European Quarter. The Press conference is organised to present a report commissioned by EPSU to the Labour Research Department to look at the effect of the cuts to public sector workers in Europe. The study is a unique (...)

Public Service Unions condemn outsourcing EU responsibility to protect refugees

EPSU statement, Brussels, 06 December 2010 At its Executive Committee meeting of 8-9/11/2010, EPSU expressed concerns over an agreement between the EU and Libya on migration cooperation that was struck on 4 October. The agreement addresses bilateral cooperation in the control of irregular migration, among other issues, including potential readmission of third-country nationals, who have transited through Libya on their way to Europe. It commits the EU to assist Tripoli in developing its (...)

EPSU demonstrates on December 15 against cuts

(1 December, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) will mobilize together with the European Trade Union Confederation on 15 December. EPSU will continue with the “No to Austerity” campaign that started with the successful demonstration in Brussels 29 September. EPSU will be organising a protest outside the two main European Union institutions: European Council and the Commission on the eve of the last Council of the EU on 15 December. The action is to defend the (...)

Energy work force gap takes on worrying proportions

(1st December 2010) Based on a survey of energy company CSR-reports the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) concludes that the forth coming workforce gap takes a worrying dimension. It urges the Council of Ministers of Energy (that is meeting this 2nd and 3rd December) to address this issue. The survey published by EPSU [see the attachement below] examines the indicators on workforce age and coming retirements in energy companies’ ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ reports. (...)

Public procurement : EPSU demands consistency from the European Commission

(23 November 2010) The European Federation of Public Service Union (EPSU) together with several other trade unions and civil society organisations (GMB, UNISON, EMF, EFFAT, EFBWW, Solidar, FLO, The Fair Trade Advocacy Office, EFTA, WFTO, FERN and Client Earth) sent a letter to Commissioner Barnier with its initial contribution to the evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of EU procurement legislation and policy. Read the letter below. The initial input focuses on concerns that the (...)

Commission recognizes importance of trained and skilled workforce – more action needed

Press Communication - for immediate release – 18 November 2010 The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) demands to the European Commission to change its strategy towards the training of the workforce in the energy sector. The European Commission published its new Energy Strategy 2020, 11 November and its Infrastructure Package yesterday. This Energy strategy was published following a process of consultation earlier this year. The results are disappointing. The Commission (...)

Equality summit: ETUC and EPSU call for equality and social inclusion to be back on the EU agenda

(Press Communication, 18 November) The 4th EU Equality Summit on 15-16 November, Brussels, organised by the Belgian EU Presidency, with the support of the European Commission, focused on equality and diversity at the workplace following the introduction of an EU legal ban on discrimination 10 years ago. Building upon the gender equality legislation, the 2000 EU directive bans discrimination in employment on the grounds of ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, age and religion. The (...)

EU quality framework on social services - top priority should go to developing action plan(s) on “more and better” care services for older people

Press Communication, 28 October 2010 (28 October 2010, Luxemburg) Yesterday a joint workshop organised by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) discussed a draft report on elder care services. The report had been commissioned by EPSU from the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) at Greenwich University. Quality eldercare services are needed to support gender equality and women’s employment as well as to meet the needs and aspirations of older people. Care (...)

European countries failing to provide adequate migrant support services Public sector unions propose solutions

(Press Release, 26 October, Malaga, Spain) There are not enough public services or qualified public service workers available to assist migrants, and, migrants are forced to wait too long to get the necessary information they need to make important life decisions, concludes a new survey of frontline public service workers in “migration gateway” Euro-Mediterranean countries. At the same time, despite the reality that the global financial and economic crises are forcing migrants into (...)

EPSU expresses solidarity with the French workers and calls for support

(21 October 2010) The European Federation of Public Service Unions wants to express its solidarity with the struggle of the French workers to defend their pensions as well as its affiliates in the energy sector that are playing a key role. The workers of our affiliated unions CFDT, CGT, FO, CFTC in the gas, electricity and nuclear sector are engaged in actions to make pressure to the French Government to change its current plans on pensions reforms. The objective of these actions is to (...)

European organisations agree on measures to counter work-place violence

(30 September 2010) European organisations agree on measures to counter work-place violence. Eight European organisations of social partners have today adopted joint Guidelines* setting out the practical steps that can be taken by employers, workers and trade unions to tackle problems of third-party violence in a range of different service sectors. The guidelines have been agreed by CEMR, CoESS, EFEE, EPSU, ETUCE, EuroCommerce, HOSPEEM and UNI Europa* , all sectors which face the (...)

Coming years crucial for future European energy policy says EU Energy Commissioner at EPSU conference.

Press release (23 September 2010, Brussels) European Commissioner for Energy Günther H. Oettinger emphasised that within the 2020 Strategy “Job creation in the energy sector is key for the future of employment in the European Union ”. The Commissioner addressed the EPSU European Utilities conference. The conference brought together a large number of trade union leaders from the European Union, Balkan and neighbouring countries like Norway, Turkey and Russia. Oettinger highlighted that next (...)

Cuts in public service jobs and wages – what does it mean for women?

Press Release, Brussels 22 July 2010
“How do the EU-wide imposed austerity plans affect women?” This is the question EPSU has raised with several members of the European Commission in an open letter. If there are negative impacts EPSU wants to know what the Commission will do about them.

Statkraft sets up a European Works Council – matching the industrial ambition with our social responsibility

Press Communication (23 June 2010) Norwegian company Statkraft and the European trade union federation EPSU have agreed the establishment of a European Works Council (EWC) which will bring together representatives of the workforce from the different European countries in which Statkraft is active. Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU Deputy General Secretary says: “Europe’s energy landscape is undergoing profound change on a path to sustainable electricity production. European Works Councils will (...)

Cuts will undermine growth says Europe’s largest union federation as Council meets

Press Communication (15 June 2010) European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) says the austerity packages imposed by many countries around Europe will have a serious impact on the prospects for economic recovery. EPSU sends this message to the European Council meeting on 17 June. Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, the EPSU General Secretary: As governments swing the austerity axe they risk chopping off any green shoots of recovery, leaving workers, pensioners and communities to face the (...)

Europe’s electricity companies and Corporate Social Responsibility

New first ever report finds that European Works Councils are poorly informed and consulted on their company’s CSR policies Joint EPSU – SOMO full Press Release - 9 June 2010 European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) - Stichting Onderzoek Multionationale Ondernemingen (SOMO) The report is published on the occasion of the final meeting of EPSU (and SDA) project on Learning and practicing – a project for the European Energy sector by which EWCs compared their work and methods. All (...)

Public service unions argue for alternative responses to the crisis

Press Communication, 31 May 2010 Leaders of public service unions from around Europe meeting in Brussels agreed that cuts to public sector pay, jobs and services were a narrow, inadequate and unfair response to the economic crisis. Union leaders pledged support and agreed to join in European wide mobilisation to promote quality public services, defend jobs and public service workers pay and conditions. The meeting of the Executive Committee of the EPSU public services federation heard (...)

Secret details released about Canada-European Union free trade talks

PSI / EPSU Press Release (19 April 2010) As the third round of Canada-European Union free trade negotiations begins, leaked draft details of the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) were jointly released today by the global union federation Public Services International and it’s European arm, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, together with union affiliates and civil service organizations in the Canadian Trade Justice Network. This new information (...)

Protection against long and irregular working hours must continue to be main goal of the Working Time Directive

Press Communication (24 March 2010) Long and irregular hours, unilaterally imposed on workers, are unhealthy and outmoded forms of work organization. ETUC is expecting proposals from the European Commission that stimulate modern, sustainable and negotiated solutions, taking into account the needs of businesses and workers in a balanced way. This was ETUC’s message in 2004, when it was first consulted on the revision of the Working Time Directive (WTD). This is again ETUC’s message, in a (...)

Joint press release HOSPEEM – EPSU: Hospital Social Partners take action to prevent sharp injuries

Press communication (Brussels, 23 March 2010) - High-level representatives of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) discussed today about measures to tackle labour shortages in the hospital sector. Priority will be given to the implementation of the joint EPSU-HOSPEEM Framework Agreement on the prevention of sharp injuries. Many European countries face a human resources crisis in health. The (...)

European Commission turns blind eye to failing public-private partnerships, says new report

Press Communication (23 March 2010) A new report by the Public Service International Research Unit cautions the European Commission against enthusiastically endorsing public-private partnerships, contending that PPPs, as they are known, do not supplement public spending – they absorb it. The European Commission outlines high hopes for developing public-private partnerships in its EU 2020 strategy. The study Public rescue for more failed private finance institutions has been released on the (...)

Joint press release HOSPEEM – EPSU on the agreement on the directive on prevention from sharp injuries

(Brussels, 9 March 2010) - The European Hospital and Healthcare Sector Social Partners - The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) welcomed the decision of the Council which adopted the directive on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector today. The agreement between the European Social Partners in the hospital and healthcare sector signed on 17 July 2009 has become law. Now (...)

International women’s Day 8 March 2010: EPSU brings new evidence that care workers deserve a pay rise

(8 March 2010 - Press Release) EPSU wants to dedicate this year’s International Women’s day to the millions of underpaid care workers, most of whom are women and many of whom are migrants. A report carried out for EPSU examines wage levels and gender gaps in the health and social care of 8 EU countries. In all the countries surveyed, workers earn below national average earnings. Earnings of unqualified or lower skilled workers are often at minimum or basic wage levels or not much higher; (...)

EPSU supports German workers against raw cuts of Swedish energy company Vattenfall

Press Communication, 1 March 2010 The Swedish state-owned company Vattenfall is asking its German workers to cut in wages and benefits, to open existing collective agreements and to agree to major outsourcing so these companies are no longer covered by the collective agreement. The workers in the company contributed to 1.8 billion Euros profits and are now asked to keep their demands low so profits and dividends can be kept high. The workers are saying NO. To underline this point EPSU (...)


Europe’s unions fully support the general strike in Greece and ask Eurozone Ministers to go for realistic and socially acceptable plans. ETUC/EPSU Joint Press Release, 23 February Europe’s trade unions follow with great concern the situation in Greece and in particular the pressure by the Commission, the Eurozone Ministers and the European Central Bank (ECB) on the Greek government for harsher austerity. The Labour movement in Europe stands in full solidarity with Greek workers in their (...)

EPSU to European Summit: Public services are key to get us out of your mess!

Press Communication, 10 February 2010 “A clear message and not business as usual, is what we expect from the European Summit on the financial and economic crisis", says Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU Deputy General Secretary. “We expect that bankers will be submitted to a regime of tough controls and that financial speculators will be taxed on their dangerous financial dealings. We demand that government leaders propose additional measures to create jobs and invest in public infrastructure and (...)

Public sector workers across Europe fight reductions in services

(5 February 2010, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is sending out a strong message of support to the tens of thousands of public sector workers who are taking action across Europe in defence of strong public services and decent pay, jobs and employment conditions. EPSU affiliates in Germany , Greece , Ireland , the Netherlands and Portugal are, or will be, involved in various forms of industrial action this week and next. In Germany and the Netherlands (...)

EON’s workers: Rallying support for UK call centre workers

(27 January 2010) Trade unions organizing workers in EON met to consider the implications of EON’s Perform to Win and other plans to reorganize and restructure the company, January 26th. EON is the large German multinational electricity and gas company active in several European countries, Russia and the US. The reorganization plans have a significant impact on the workers and their families with job cuts and outsourcing being the main characteristics. The plans have caused considerable (...)

Joint Trade Union study exposes flaws in EU-Canada Trade deal

(Brussels 14 January 2010) – The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and their Canadian counterparts have expressed serious concerns about the proposed trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. The second round of negotiations is due to start on 18 January and will continue for the week. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), along with EPSU, today (...)

Denmark and Sweden defending collective agreements and supplementary pensions before ECJ

Press Communication, 11 January 2010 The European Court of Justice is organising a hearing in the case of the European Commission versus Germany (C-271-08), 12 January 2010, Luxembourg. The Commission took Germany to the Court as it believes that the practice of local authorities to award contracts for pension services on the basis of the selection as laid down in collective agreements is a violation of the public procurement directives. The German government disagrees with the European (...)

Social partners in Gas Sector warn European Commission:

JPEG Demographic Change and Skills to be taken seriously when developing European energy policy

Press Release (Brussels, 5 November 2009)

Both employers and trade unions are concerned about the ageing profile of the workforce with many workers retiring in the next 5-10 years in the European gas sector. This poses particular challenges to ensure the level of competencies and skills which is important to maintain a high quality service, to develop the gas infrastructure, to ensure security of supply and to respond to technological developments and climate change (read more)

Ireland votes YES for LISBON – Good news for public service users as Treaty outlines obligation to protect Universal Access

(3 October 2009, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has stated that Ireland’s YES vote on the Lisbon Referendum is; “A positive step for public services”. “With the Lisbon Treaty likely to be passed by the end of the year, I strongly underline/endorse the positive impact of the public services provisions in the text”, said EPSU General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel. The Treaty has three main provisions that explicitly call for EU legislation to ensure that (...)

Belgian regulators raid Energy Giants’ Offices on suspicion of price-fixing

Press Communication, 23 September 2009 Electrabel (GdfSuez) and SPE Luminus (EDF) Belgian headquarters subjected to swoop by 50 Inspectors 50 Belgian Energy Inspectors yesterday (22 September) descended on the offices of the two main Belgian electricity producers. Electrabel and SPE Luminus are under suspicion of systematically manipulating the market to keep energy prices artificially high. By controlling the availability of energy supply, both companies are under investigation for (...)

First EU wide text agreed by Hospital and Healthcare trade unions and employers set to prevent medical sharps injuries

(Brussels, 17 July 2009,) The European Hospital and Healthcare Sector Social Partners - The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) represented by the President of EPSU health Committee, Karen Jennings and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) represented by General Secretary, Godfrey Perera today signed a European agreement, which is set to prevent medical sharps injuries for the whole health workforce in Europe. VIDEO of PRESS CONFERENCE SEE (...)

First European wide endorsement of global reporting standards in electricity sector

Press Communication (23 June 2009) The European trade unions and Eurelectric for the companies and employers signed a joint statement on Corporate Social Responsibility, 22 June 2009. The social partners underline the importance of CSR for the electricity industry, the positive attitude towards trade unions that is required and encourage the use of common reporting standards as defined by the Global Reporting Initiative and in particular the recent supplement on the electricity industry. (...)

‘We are One…protest’ – say demonstrating EON Workers

Press Communication, 18 June 2009 (18 June 2009, Dusseldorf) Thousands of Energy workers assemble today for a protest at the Annual General Meeting of energy Company EON. The protest is organised by German Union Verdi. Under the slogan ‘we are one’, appropriated from EON publicity material, the Union organisers are staging an action day to condemn EON management refusal to provide guarantees on jobs and training. Union sources have also discovered that EON management has not ruled out (...)

Rapport du 8ème Congrès de la FSESP : La fusion FSESP – ISP Europe avalisée à l’unanimité

Energy Council misses opportunity to improve nuclear safety

Ministers ignore European Parliament recommendations for safer standards (5 June Brussels, 2009) EPSU has learned that European Energy Ministers are due to sign off on a lower set of Nuclear Safety provisions than that recommended by the European Parliament. The position (seen by EPSU) reveals that the opinion of the European Parliament has been ignored [1]. (. The Parliament had argued that a high level of nuclear safety should be achieved and that therefore the Safety Standards of the (...)

Energy profits and dividends “keep surging” as jobs and wage share decline"

Press Communication, 14 May 2009 European energy trade unions meeting in Luxembourg today highlight stark contrast between increased share returns and falling wages (14 May 2009, Luxembourg) On the eve of a weekend of mass union demonstrations throughout Europe, a report by public service trade union federation EPSU has revealed a stark trend among the sector’s main employers, showing the wages bill falling as a share of profits and dividends. The EPSU energy unions have released the (...)

European Parliament praised for ‘resolve and principles’ as Working time negotiations End with no agreement

Press Communication (28 April, 2009) The Conciliation Committee, set up to find a compromise on working time between Parliament and Council, met for the last time last night. Talks concluded without an agreement being reached. The sticking points were the opt-out, on-call time and multiple contracts. “Despite the best efforts of the European Parliament delegation, it was not possible to reach an agreement that would have allowed the working time directive to play a meaningful role in (...)

EPSU Executive publishes declaration on Patient Mobility Directive as European Parliament set to vote on patients rights across EU countries

Decision could put healthcare provision ‘at risk of worst aspects of internal market’

(21 April 2009, Brussels) The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has today passed a declaration on the Patient Mobility Directive.

On 23/24 April, the European Parliament (EP) will take a major decision on how healthcare is defined in the European Union. The EP is due to take a position on the legal basis of the directive and whether it should be national healthcare systems, or the internal market that is responsible (...)

Over 100 election candidates already signed up to ‘public service pledge

(22 March 2009, Brussels) This week saw the European Election campaign to get candidates to sign a ‘public service pledge’ pass the 100 mark. There are now 101 contenders for the election, from 18 EU countries, already signed up. The campaign interactive map of Europe shows who. Already ‘pledged’ are; European Parliament Socialist (PES) Group leader, Martin Schulz MEP, head of the European Greens Monica Frassoni MEP, and leader of the Party of European Socialists Poul Nyrup Rasmussen MEP (...)

EPSU welcomes European Parliament resolve on working time as negotiations with Council Start

End to Opt-Out ‘logical’ if directive is to have any meaning (18 March 2009, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), particularly as the European social partner for firefighters and medical personnel, welcomes the European Parliament stance as working time talks begin. The so called ‘conciliation committee’ process on the working time directive started on Tuesday (17 March). The formal talks, between teams from the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, (...)

European Local Government Workers and Employers send gathering EU leaders local government ‘crisis checklist’

Joint Press Communication: European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) (17 March 2009, Brussels) In advance of the Spring summit, the Social Partners for the local government sector in Europe have sent a 17 point checklist to European leaders. CEMR-EP (Council of European Municipalities and Regions) and EPSU (European Federation of Public Service Unions) issued the list of demands to highlight the positive role local government (...)

EU Commission attacked for continued attempts to ’commercialise water services’ despite mounting evidence

Breaking story on Water Forum outcomes (17 March 2009) At the opening of the World Water Forum this week, European trade unions will present damning evidence of the EU’s water policies. They will demonstrate that the EU drive to commercialise water services is based on a flawed model; "The Commission’s support for private sector involvement in water services is counterproductive and based more on market ideology than fact", said Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary. He continued; (...)

EU Commission decision to probe energy markets ‘A stunning denial of own responsibility for energy policy mess’

(3 February, 2009, Brussels) The decision of the European Commission to launch an investigation into energy markets due to high consumer dissatisfaction (2 February) is a “stunning denial of their own role in causing this mess”, according to EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan. He added that it is: “precisely the Commission liberalisation of the energy market which has lead to massive concentration of ownership, and high prices for private and business users”. He commented (...)

EPSU launches public service pledge for European Parliament elections 2009

(25 November Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has launched the ‘Public Service Pledge’ for the European Elections 2009 (www.epsu.org/publicservicepledge). National public service unions throughout the European Union will ask candidates for the European Elections, scheduled for June 2009, to sign up to the EPSU demands. The pledge asks for candidates to support a set of framework laws which recognize the special role of essential services in the European (...)

The Public Service Pledge – A call to all candidates in the European Elections 2009

Let’s fix Europe, together!

GIF (18 November 2008) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (www.epsu.org) is launching its Public Service Pledge for the European elections at 12h30 on 25 November 2008. The launch will take place at the EPSU Executive Committee meeting and thus will have present all of the public service trade union leaders within the EU (...)

Energy Council to be firm in securing a stable energy sector and addressing energy poverty

Energy Council to be firm in securing a stable energy sector and addressing energy poverty (Press Communication, 8 October 2008, Brussels) The Energy Council will determine its common position on the proposed amendments to the internal market for electricity and gas directives, 9-10 October. "Europe cries out for stable and secure public services citizens and business can rely on. Not for the continuation of dangerous ideological experiments" says EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan (...)

Green paper on EU health workforce: Commissioner Vassiliou calls for social partners’ contribution

Press Communication: Brussels

European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)
European Hospital and Healthcare Employers' Association (HOSPEEM)

(16 July 2008, Brussels). On Monday 14 July a joint Hospital Social Partner delegation met Commissioner Vassiliou.

Commissioner Vassiliou explained the rationale for promoting the Cross-border Healthcare Directive. She underlined in particular the need for better collaboration between the Member States as well as the establishment of (...)

Commission’s proposal on EU cross-border healthcare is not social!

Press Communication, 7 July 2008 The Commission’s draft directive on cross-border healthcare is part of its ‘renewed social agenda’, published on 2 July. “This should not mislead us to think that this is a social directive,” says Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary. “There was a storm of opposition against a leaked version of the draft directive in December 2007. And rightly so!” adds the EPSU General Secretary. “This draft was identified as a radical proposal to introduce market (...)

European Commission wants to celebrate 4th July with disastrous USA style healthcare system


Lesson of Lisbon still not heard as Brussels executive looks to makes grab for control of national healthcare systems

(1 July, Brussels) The European Federation of Public service Union has learned that the European Commission is set to publish a radical proposal on cross-border healthcare, this Thursday July 3. The draft proposal, which has been seen by EPSU, wants to give huge powers over healthcare to the Commission. In particular, the Brussels Executive wants to take power to define hospital care in all EU member states. The draft document states that; “In particular, power should be conferred on the Commission to define for the purposes of this Directive (...)

Heating or eating ? NO says EPSU to EP - address energy poverty now!

(Brussels, 18 June 2008) The European Parliament will consider amendments to the proposal for a Directive on Internal Market for Electricity and Gas, 18 June. EPSU, the European Anti-poverty network and the European committee for Social Housing (CECODHAS) have requested MEPs to show that they care about low-income households and consumers and support those amendments that address energy poverty. Please find the joint press release : People in poverty shouldn’t have to choose between (...)

Save the Working Time Directive on 9 June! EPSU affiliates mobilise to avert ‘disastrous decision’ by EU employment ministers

JPEGPress Communication, 5 June 2008

“Working time directive risks becoming empty shell”

The European Employment Council of 9 June is set to discuss the proposal of the Slovenian Presidency to revise the Working Time Directive.

The proposal would lead to the disastrous situation where:

  • for the first time, a European Union social law proposal would worsen standards for European Workers;
  • European Court of Justice decisions on ‘on-call time’ in the workplace, would be ignored, by defining ‘inactive time at the workplace’ as not being (...)

“Address energy price reality not internal market theory” Trade Unions tell EU Energy Ministers

Press Communication, 5 June 2008 The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has called on the EU Council of Energy Ministers to pull back from the ‘grave error’ of forced ownership unbundling in the sector. EU energy ministers are set to discuss far-reaching proposals for energy companies on 6 June. EPSU has warned that Ministers run the risk of swinging a wrecking ball at the sector in a time of growing (...)

Parliament’s Vote on ownership unbundling disappointing

(EPSU Press Communication, 7 May 2008, Brussels) The European Parliament Committee on Energy voted with a narrow majority to force Member States to break up vertically integrated companies in the electricity sector, 6 May. The evidence presented by the European Commission for its ideological view has been criticised and found unfounded and based on erroneous assumptions. The social consequences for workers and citizens have not been investigated. The positive historical experience of many countries with vertically integrated companies has (...)

Legislate on Revision of EWC Directive now ! says 8 million Union Federation

(Press Communication, 24 April, Brussels) The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) approved the position of the ETUC regarding its decision not to negotiate on the Revision of the European Works Council Directive, 22 April 2008. BusinessEurope was not able to agree to a fixed and short timetable and the risk of bad faith negotiations was considerable giving the attitude of BusinessEurope and some of its members who have consistently and violently lobbied against the Revision of the Directive. This would have delayed revision considerably (...).

"If you are in a hole stop digging" say energy workers to Council

Press Communication, 27 February 2008 If you are in a hole stop digging" say energy workers to Council (27 February 2008, Brussels) The European Commission is obsessed with ownership unbundling and criticises Member States for protection of domestic households at a time when electricity and gas prices increase, jobs in the sector are lost, investment in new capacity is lagging behind, mergers and take-overs cost tens of billions of Euros and most States in the USA have halted their (...)

EPSU Action Day against prison overcrowding in Europe 28-02, Brussels


Press Communication (28 February 2008, Brussels) European Action Day against prison overcrowding brings together 440 trade union delegates from 10 countries including Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Rally and happening start at 12.00 until 14.30 outside the EU Justice Ministers’ Council meeting, Rue de la Loi 175. Interviews at demo site. EPSU delegation meeting with Slovenia’s Justice Minister and EU Council President, Lovro Šturm, at 11.00 a.m. until 11.30 a.m.

Further information @ www.epsu.org/prisons

Prison Overcrowding “further aggravated” by privatisation

Prison Staff organisations announce 28 February Brussels rally to put prison overcrowding on EU agenda

(20 February 2007, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) announces a rally; ‘NO to Prison Overcrowding’ to coincide with the meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers on 28 February (rally to be supported by actions throughout Europe).

ISSUE: At present, prisons in the EU are at 125% capacity. Plans in a number of EU countries to build privately run prison facilities, are making worse an already difficult situation. The consequences of prison overcrowding are (...)

Will EU Justice Ministers ignore the prison crush?

Prison Staff organisations announce 28 February Brussels rally to put prison overcrowding on EU agenda

- Français/Nederlands/Deutsch/Español/Italiano!

(12 February 2008, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) announces a rally; ‘NO to Prison Overcrowding’ to coincide with the meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers on 28 February. The action, involving 400+ prison staff from all over Europe, will take place outside the Council of Ministers building (Justus Lipsius) from 12h00-15h00 on 28 February. The aim of the rally is (...)

Postponement of EU Health directive “major victory for advocates of universal health coverage”

Out of touch Commission makes major miscalculation on healthcare proposals PRESS RELEASE, 19 December, 2007, Brussels The decision by the European Commission to postpone the publication of the draft directive on Cross-Border Healthcare, until spring 2008, represents a major victory for advocates of universal healthcare coverage throughout the EU. Commenting on this embarrassing climb-down by the Commission, EPSU General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel stated that; “the draft proposal (...)

Healthcare Employers and Workers send strong message to European Commission on cross-border healthcare proposals

European Hospital Unions and Employers agree joint statement on EU and healthcare (14 December, 2007, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association (HOSPEEM) have jointly signed a declaration on health services in the EU. For the full text of the statement please see attached or click here; (www.epsu.org or www.hospeem.eu). The declaration, which marks the first formal joint position between the EU social (...)

Executive Committee Statement on European Commission

“Internal Market Strategy and companion document’ on public services”. Strikes are in part a reaction to a European Commission that has forgotten that Public Services should be at the heart of the EU PRESS COMMUNICATION, 27 November 2007 The Executive Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) deplores the European Commission’s position on the further consolidation of the legal framework regarding provision, organisation and financing of public services, including (...)


“This marks the beginning, not the end, of the debate on Public Services in the EU” European Federation of Public Services Press Communication (20 November 2007, Brussels) The European Commission today published its views on the further consolidation of the legal framework regarding provision, organisation and financing of public services, including social services within the European Internal market. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) contends that the Commission (...)

South Eastern Europe signs Energy Accord with European Commission
“A positive sign if social aspects taken seriously” says EPSU boss

Embargo 12.00 18 October 2007 PRESS COMMUNICATION, 18 October 2007 (Vienna ,18 October) Energy and Social Affairs Ministers from South East Europe today signed an agreement with the European Commission to put social issues at the heart of the South East Europe energy community. The agreement, or memorandum of understanding, was signed in Vienna (home of the Energy Community Secretariat) today by Ministers from across the Balkan states, and by European Commissioner for Energy, Andris (...)

EU Energy “Ownership Unbundling” plans throws workers in dark

PRESS COMMUNICATION, 19 September 2007 (Brussels, 19 September) The proposed changes to the directives on the Internal Market for Electricity and Gas, unveiled by the European Commission today, force restructuring in the electricity and gas industry. Astonishingly, the Commission has not seen fit to articulate any specific provisions to protect EU energy workers against these radical changes. Although there is little evidence that it will bring reduced prices for Europe’s citizens and (...)

Austrian EVN agrees European Works Council with Macedonian representation

PRESS COMMUNICATION, 19 September 2007 The Austrian company EVN active in water, energy and related services agreed to establish a European Works Council, 12 September 2007. The company employs around 10.000 workers predominantly in Austria, Bulgaria and Macedonia. The Special negotiating body reached agreement with management and the EWC will include representation from the Macedonian work force in the distribution company. It is believed to be one of the first EWC agreements with a (...)

EU liberalisation of network industries set to accelerate despite

PRESS COMMUNICATION, 10 September 2007 European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) UNI - Europa (Private Skills and Services Federation) European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) Subject: Joint response of European Energy/Post/Transport Workers Federations to European Commission report on the Evaluation of the Performance of Network Industries Providing Services of General Economic Interest 2006). Event: Joint EUROPEAN COMMISSION and EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE (...)

Press release EWC Suez on merger with GdF

Press release, 4 September 2007 The Steering Committee of the European Consultative Committee (EWC) of Suez meeting today (4/9) and after having noted the announcement of the new project to merger GdF and Suez: • Is opposed to the principle of the dismantlement of the Group and as such to the project to disinvest 65% of the capital of branch Environment. The EWC is absolutely not reassured by the announcement of a pact of the large shareholders of which the real content and the rules (...)

South Eastern Europe Energy Policy hangs in the balance

Press Communication, 27 June 2007

29 June meeting in Montenegro “last chance to avoid major error on social policy”

Energy Ministers from South Eastern Europe are set to green light further energy policies to open their markets to competition and expose workers and citizens to market forces at their meeting in Podgorica, Montegro on 29 June. Unfortunately they (...)

Social dimension tops meeting EPSU and Presidency Energy Community

(5 April 2007) An EPSU delegation met with the Montenegro Deputy Minister Mr. Canovic, in Podgorica, 5 April 2007. EPSU brought the message that the South East European Energy Community needs a social pillar. The internal market for electricity and gas will have grave social consequences. Mr. Canovic, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Montenegro is currently the President of the Ministerial Council of the South East European Energy Community. EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan (...)

Czech Energy Company CEZ concludes European Works Council agreement

Press Communication (3 April) The agreement is believed to be the first exclusively New Member States European Works Council and will have representatives from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.. It will be composed of 23 members. The Steering or Select Committee will have 7 members. The primary way to nominate the EWC members will be through the trade unions. The EWC will allow the trade union representatives from the different subsidiaries and countries to address important (...)

European Commission pulls public service Communication at last moment

(20 March 2007, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has been informed that the European Commission has decided not to publish a controversial communication on public services. The communication, which was set to be unveiled on 21 March, will now only be published "at the earliest on 12 April", according to Commission sources. This delay suggests that there are serious tensions with the College of Commissioners about the content of the communication. EPSU (...)

EPSU announces new European Social Dialogue Committee in the Natural Gas Sector

EPSU announces new European Social Dialogue Committee in the Natural Gas Sector (Press Communication, 14 March, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcome the sectoral social dialogue committee in the Natural Gas sector, which will meet in Brussels on 15 March for the first time. The unions will meet the employers represented by Eurogas. EPSU Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan comments: "The European Council 8-9 March took several decisions that (...)

Energy Package is PR exercise to justify higher energy bills and disguise failure of liberalization

Energy Workers 5-point critique of EU energy strategy

Press Communication (10 January 2007, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions rapid response to the EU Energy Strategy as released by the European Commission today (...):

EP yes vote for Services Directive increases need for balancing Commission proposal on Public Services

"The Commission has no excuse now to keep stalling"

Press Communication, immediate release

(15 November, 2006, Strasbourg) The Services Directive vote, which took place in the European Parliament today, marks the end of almost three years of debate and political manoeuvring. "It is now high-time for the European Union, and the European Commission in particular, to give equal weight and consideration to building a modern social Europe", said European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) General Secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel. "The European project must now re-engage with citizens through a genuine debate on a concrete legal text for public services in the EU," she continued. "Today’s vote in the European Parliament on the services directive should mark a line in the sand."

Principles of Social Europe "integral to" stability of South East European Energy Community

Press communication: immediate release

Declaration on the occasion of Ministerial Conference 17 November 2006

(16 November 2006, Brussels) Macedonia will host a crucial summit on social aspects of the South East European Energy Community tomorrow, 17 November 2006. Set to attend are; all Ministers of Energy of the South East European countries; the European Commission; and the Finnish Presidency. First on the agenda is the Memorandum of Understanding on the Social Aspects of the Energy Community (in South East Europe). For the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), full agreement of the memorandum is integral to energy community stability.

European Trade Unions stand firm on NO to Working Time Individual Opt-Out

Leaked Finnish Presidency proposal shows "opt-out well and truly redundant", says Union Leader

(26 October, 2006) This week has seen intense activity in Brussels on the Working Time Directive dossier. The Finnish Presidency proposal, a copy of which has been seen by EPSU, aims to keep the individual opt-out as part of the package of any compromise on working time. According to European Federation of Public Service Unions General Secretary, Ms. Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, "this compromise would, in effect, render the Working TIme Directive meaningless".

Services Directive Committee vote strengthens Unions’ resolve for November plenary vote

"We are committed to getting a fair result for the users of social services" says Union leader

Press Communication - (24 October, Brussels) The result in the Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament yesterday has "strengthened the resolve" of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) to get a fair result for public service users on the services directive. Speaking to affiliates yesterday, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary, stated that; "We will make sure, on Social Services, that there is an unequivocal exclusion from the scope of the directive".

CAPGEMINI report on electricity shortages underlines EU energy policy faultlines

"Radical overhaul needed to reverse EU-wide trends"

(Brussels, 13 October, 2006) CAPGEMINI reported on the risk of electricity shortages in Europe yesterday. Its report confirms that the internal market for electricity and gas has failed to deliver on its goals. It is the latest in a series of reports that demonstrate that liberalisation does not work for the electricity sector.

European Social Partners in Hospital Sector hold first formal meeting


Press Communication: Brussels - 20 September The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) today met jointly in the first formal meeting of a European Sectoral Social Dialogue committee for the hospital sector. HOSPEEM General Secretary Godfrey Perera stated that: "To get to this point where representatives of the hospital workforce and management in the European Union can get together to discuss topics is a tremendous achievement (...).

European Council in ’shocking’ attempt to force working time deal


(13 June, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has learned that the Austrian Presidency is manoeuvring to try to force through a last-minute deal on the Working Time Directive. Revision of the directive, which has stalled under the last three EU Presidencies, is blocked due to the question of whether or not to end the controversial ’individual opt-out’ provision. A second stumbling point has been the categorisation of on-call duty in the working place. The Austrian Presidency has put the issue on the agenda of the European Council meeting of EU leaders, set for this Thursday and Friday (15-16 June) in an attempt to reach a deal.

Failure of Employment Council to reach Working Time deal further highlights validity of European Parliament Position

Press communication (2 June, Brussels) The failure of the Employment Council to reach a settlement on the working time directive yesterday, (1 June) is further illustration that Employment Ministers continue to avoid political reality on the issue, and continue to ignore the clear demands of the representatives of EU workers and citizens. The Austrian Presidency was unable to break the deadlock despite last minute manoeuvrings. "After 12 hours of debate yesterday, the Ministers were (...)

EPSU to look to European Parliament to resolve Council Services Directive contradictions


Press communication

(31 May, Brussels) In the light of the Council of Ministers vote on the services directive on 29 May, EPSU will be pushing hard for the European Parliament to resolve many of the outstanding problems when it returns for second reading in September. “The Services Directive still contains many problems for Europe’s public service workers, and in the context of the wider EU legislative agenda, there are some flat-out contradictions contained in the text,” said EPSU General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel.

EPSU welcomes EP call for social dimension to South-East European Energy Treaty

Press Communication (19 May, Brussels) The demands of trade unions from South East Europe, supported by EPSU, for a social dimension in the South East European Energy Community received full support from the European Parliament, 18 May. The Parliament voted on a resolution tabled by energy committee chair Giles Chicester that demanded the European Commission to take full account of the social dimension. The resolution demands in particular: an unequivocal commitment by the signatories to (...)

EPSU press release for ‘Solidarity vigil’ outside Brussels office of Lower Saxony on eve of negotiations to end German strike deadlock


Mahnwache vor der niedersächsischen Landesvertretung in Brüssel - Solidaritätsbekundung einen Tag vor Wiederaufnahme der Tarifverhandlungen mit den deutschen Ländern.

(17 May, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions, EPSU, in conjunction with Belgian public service trade unions of CGSP-FGTB and CSC services publics held a ‘solidarity vigil’ today in support of German trade union Ver.di, on the eve of the restarting of negotiations in Berlin, to end a 12 week strike on working time. The strike concerns, in particular, the regulation of working time at federal state level.

EPSU calling notice for ‘Solidarity vigil’ outside Brussels office of Lower Saxony on eve of negotiations to end German strike deadlock

(Brussels, 11 May 2006) The European Federation of Public Service Unions, EPSU, in conjunction with Belgian public service trade unions of CGSP-FGTB and CSC services publics will hold a ‘solidarity vigil’ in support of German trade union Ver.di, on the eve of the restarting of negotiations in Berlin, to end a 12 week strike on working time. The strike concerns in particular the regulation of working time at federal state level.

European Commission Communication on social services does not live up to expectations

EPSU response to Communication on social services of general interest Press communication: 27 April 2006 IMMEDIATE RELEASE Attention: News Editors (27 April, Brussels) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) expresses its disappointment with the Communication on Social Services of General Interest. This is based on the substance and the process of the Communication on Social Services of General Interest (26 April). In substance the Communication falls short of EPSU’s (...)

European wide campaign launch for EU public service directive

Press communication: 21 April 2006 JPEG

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) today launched their campaign calling for an EU directive on public services. The campaign launch, which took place in Vienna was organised by EPSU’s Austrian affiliate union GdG. It was attended by the President of the European Social Platform Anne-Sophie Parent, the President of the European Public Service Employers Caspar Einem and the President of the European Local Government Employers, Michael Häupl.

European and US unions join forces and confront EON’s hiring pratices

JPEG(Brussels 29 March, 2006) Energy Trade Unions from European and the USA today announced joint action to confront German energy giant EON. The Energy company has reneged on its pledge to hire unionized workers. It is this u-turn on hiring union workers that has provoked the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) into action.

European Water Workers mark World Water Day with protest against water privatisation plans

Press communication: 22 March, 2006 Action: WORLD WATER DAY

EPSU today held an action to mark World Water Day in the heart of Europe. A human chain of 1000 people was formed between the offices of AQUAFED (the International Private Water Company Federation) and the European Commission headquarters.


Private Water Company lobby group AQUAFED puts backroom pressure on European Commission to privatise the sector. World Water Day sees launch of study that exposes AQUAFED attempts to liberalise water services.

EPSU press communication, 22 March 2006 Action: World Water Day 22 March

European Committee launched in the hospital sector - "Social Partners committed to full role in defining EU health policy"

Press Communication - 17 March 2006

Calling Notice for action on World Water Day

Subject: World Water Day

Venue: Rond point Schuman, Brussels

Date and Time: 11.00am 22 March

Action: Human chain between the offices of AQUAFED (Federation of private water companies) and the Berlaymont (European Commission headquarters) and Justus Lipsius (Council of Ministers building)

Lancement d’un Comité européen dans le secteur hospitalier "Les partenaires sociaux veulent assumer pleinement leur rôle dans la définition de la politique européenne de la santé"

Communiqué de presse, 17 mars 2006

Europäischer Ausschuss startet im Krankenhausbereich "Sozialpartner übernehmen Rolle bei der Definition der EU-Gesundheitspolitik"

Pressemitteilung, 17. März 2006

Se crea un comité europeo en el sector hospitalario “Los interlocutores sociales asumen responsabilidades en la definición de la política comunitaria de salud”

Comunicado de prensa - 17 de marzo

Europeisk kommitté inrättas för sjukhussektorn "Arbetsmarknadens parter vill spela en fullständig roll i arbetet med att fastställa EU:s folkhälsopolitik"

Pressmeddelande - 17 mars 2006

EPSU / HOSPEEM Calling Notice for Press Conference 17 March 2006

European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) Press Communication: Brussels - Immediate release, 9 March 2006 EPSU / HOSPEEM Calling Notice for Press Conference 17 March 2006 Attention: news editors Subject: Launch of European social partners committee for Hospital sector in European Union Venue: International Trade Union House (ITUH), Blvd de Roi Albert II 5, Brussels 1210 (located near ROGIER metro station) (...)

German unions fight outsourcing in Swedish energy company Vattenfall - Strike action threatened

Press Communication: Brussels Immediate release, 7 March 2006 The European energy sector is in profound turmoil. Already 50 billion Euro’s have been squandered on take-overs and mergers, and not returned to society in lower prices, more investments and more jobs. According to EPSU research more then 300.000 jobs have gone in the electricity sector. After slashing jobs, companies now turn on their remaining employees to extract more profits out of them. A recent example is Vattenfall Europe, (...)

A Genuine European energy policy must mean genuine consultation

Press Communication: Brussels, Immediate release, 7 March 2006 A Genuine European energy policy must mean genuine consultation “New EU energy policy initiative must reflect concerns of ALL stakeholders and not just big energy companies” Subject : EPSU reaction to Green Paper on European Energy Policy (Brussels, 7 March, 2006) Tomorrow sees the publication by the European Commission of the Green Paper on European Energy Policy. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has (...)

What next for the Services Directive? The European Federation of Public Service Unions’ Perspective

FR - DE - SP - IT - PL (see also right-hand column) (24 February 2006, Brussels) Following the European Parliament plenary vote on 16 February, the spotlight is now on the 13 March Competitiveness Council of Ministers (i.e. the Member State Governments). EPSU concluded that the results of the vote on the Services Directive represented “significant progress”, particularly on health and social services. EPSU invested in a highly visible mobilising and lobbying presence to ensure these gains. (...)

EON bid for Endesa shows Commission "in denial" over EU energy policy

Press Communication: Brussels Immediate release, 22 February 2006 EON bid for Endesa shows Commission "in denial" over EU energy policy (Brussels, 22 February) Another example of the failing story of EU energy market policy was started on 21 February 2006 when German company Eon bid for Spanish company Endesa. If pushed through, it would create one of the world’s largest energy companies with more then 100.000 workers world wide and a presence in Europe and Latin and North America. (...)

Services Directive EP vote means focus is now on public services

Press Communication: Brussels Immediate release, 17 February 2006


Press Communication -immediate release 16 February 2006 Commission does not address employment issues ! In a hallucinating public presentation European Commissioner Kroes says: The internal market electricity and gas does not work. Hence we need more of it. In a meeting packed with representatives of the energy sector, big business and corporate lawyers, European Commissioner for Competition presented the findings of the energy sector inquiry. The findings confirm what EPSU has been (...)

Abstimmung über die Dienstleistungsrichtlinie im Europäischen Parlament rückt das Thema öffentliche Dienste in den Mittelpunkt

Pressemitteilung, Brüssel - zur sofortigen Veröffentlichung 17. Februar 2006

EPP-PES compromise on Services Directive runs risk of selling off European Public services

Press Communication -immediate release 9 February 2006

“The European Parliament must get the legislative procedure right”

South East European Energy Ministers commit to social pillar

Press Communication, 13 December 2005 The Energy ministers of South East Europe discussed a proposal of the European Commission on a social pillar for the South East European Energy Treaty, 9 December in Sofia. This draft text of a Memorandum was received positively by the Ministers. The proposal on a social pillar came about after intense pressure from the regions’ trade unions. It was a key demand of the EPSU energy demonstration 1 December where 1500 workers from across Europe showed (...)


Press Communication: Brussels Immediate release, 1 December 2005 1500 energy workers descended on Brussels 1 December 2005. They gave a vocal signal to the European energy ministers who are meeting today: Keep the lights on. Stop the deregulation madness. In the light of mounting evidence illustrating problems the ministers are considering progress with the internal market for electricity and gas. A Commission evaluation report is on top of the agenda. A delegation from the European (...)


Press Communication: Brussels Immediate release, 28 November 2005 The European Federation of Public Service Unions, EPSU, organises a demonstration 1 December 2005, Brussels. 1500 or more workers are expected to descend on Brussels to make their voice heard. The Council of Ministers for Energy meets that day. The ministers are considering progress with the internal market for electricity and gas. A Commission evaluation report is on top of the agenda. The trade union message: Keep the (...)

Unions agree action for Social pillar in Energy Community

Press Communication, 18 November 2005 The South East European Energy trade unions concluded a ground breaking cooperation agreement to confront the lack of a social pillar in the South East European Energy Community, 17 November 2005. An annual work programme was agreed to deal with the implementation of the internal market for electricity and gas. The EPSU led group commits to prevent governments taking ill-advised measures that could hurt workers and citizens especially the poor. The (...)

New Study: EU Internal Market Electricity and Gas "is not functioning"

Press Communication, 2 November 2005 A new energy study, to be launched tomorrow 3 November, from the University of Greenwich’s Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) has definitive evidence that there are no noticeable positive effects for domestic consumers from competition, and the drawbacks are many, that Labour productivity improvements are one-off events, achieved by dismissing workers and with no effect on longer-term dynamic efficiencies. Study author Steve Thomas (...)

Signing of South East European Energy Treaty is ‘irresponsible and hypocritical’

Press release (25 October 2005) The UK Presidency, the European Commission and the countries of South East Europe will sign the Treaty that establishes a South East European Energy Community in Athens today, 25 October. This Treaty forces the liberalisation of the electricity and gas markets in South East Europe, exposes citizens to competition and does not include any social dimension whatsoever. More worryingly, the Signatories have deliberately excluded the European Parliament from (...)

"UK MEP says Balkan energy policy should have no social obligations or requirement"

Press Communication (25 October 2005) In a confrontational reply to the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) UK MEP Giles Chichester (EPP, Con) and Chair of the Energy Committee in the European Parliament stated that social obligations and requirements only serve to shackle business, even in fragile regions such as the Balkans. EPSU had early condemned the signing of the South East European Energy Treaty as irresponsible, as there was no social dimension included. For the (...)

Services Directive is badly started says Luxembourg Minister to EPSU

Press Release- 16 June 2005 A EPSU delegation had a long discussion with the Luxembourg Presidency on the Services Directive on 15 June 2005. We raised concerns on the Directive and the negative effect on workers and public services such as energy and water services. We argued for the withdrawal of the Directive. Minister Jeannot Krecké called the Directive a piece of legislation, which was on a bad track. He indicated he agreed with EPSU it would have been better to withdraw it and start (...)

Europe’s Energy Unions meet with Energy Commissioner Piebalgs

Press release - 24 March 2005 A delegation of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) met with the Energy Commissioner, 23 March 2005. The meeting was positive. “The trade unions are a key stakeholder in European Energy Policies. It is important to engage in a dialogue with the trade unions”, Commissioner Piebalgs said. The trade unions raised critical questions over: The Services Directive. We welcomed recent proposals to amend the directive on a number of key issues but (...)

First European Works Council in municipal company

Press release - 18 March 2005 The German Leipzig municipal company bought three municipal district heating companies in Poland in 2004. The trade unions in the companies (Gdansk, Starograd, Tczew), including EPSU affiliated union the Public Services Secretariat of Solidarnosc, the works council of the Leipzig company and Verdi negotiated a European Works Council agreement. The agreement was finalised during a seminar 16-18 March 2005, Gdansk. It is the first European Works Council for a (...)

Broad Coalition requests European Commission to be more realistic on Working Time proposals

Press Release - 17 March 2005 Participants: European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), Members of European Parliament, Alejandro CERCAS, Stephen Hughes. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), today shared a platform with the European Parliament Rapporteur on Working Time, Mr Alejandro Cercas MEP (PES). The message behind this show of solidarity was ‘EU working Time (...)

Statement of the EPSU Steering Committee on the adoption of the European Parliament’s report on state aids package

Press Release - 25 February 2005 The Steering Committee of the European Federation of Public Service Unions, EPSU, meeting on 25 February in Brussels condemns the vote in plenary on the in’t Veld report on state aids in the form of public service compensation, as adopted by a conservative - liberal majority of the European Parliament on 22 February. The report describes state aid provided for public hospitals and social housing as a distortion of competition. Member States are required to (...)

In’t Veld Report: time for legal certainty and local self-government

Appeal to Members of the European Parliament from cities, local SGEI providers and public services unions

Joint press release, 21 February 2005

Cities, providers of local services of general economic interest and public services unions call on Members of the European Parliament to amend the text of the In’t Veld Report, adopted in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, in order to return to the spirit of the European Commission’s proposal:

Unions build strength in Europe’s energy companies

31 January 2005 Governments in Romania and Bulgaria have privatised several companies that distribute electricity. These companies have been taken-over by large existing European companies which thus continue to build their energy empires. To consider the consequences for the workers and to discuss future strategies, trade union representatives from the companies concerned meet in Bucharest, 29 January to 1 February 2005. The seminar is organised by EPSU, the powerful European trade union (...)


21 December 2004 The Social Partners in the electricity industry - Union of the Electricity Industry- EURELECTRIC representing employers and EPSU/EMCEF for the trade unions - intend to create a “toolkit” for companies wishing to align their approach to equal opportunities and diversity in the workforce with best practice. This project was conceived during a workshop in Brussels on 14 December, which examined the findings of a recently-completed study on the subject, and confirmed at a (...)

Unions condemn lack of social dimension of South East European Energy Treaty (10 December)

Energy conference Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 10-11 December 2004 The European Union is negotiating a Treaty to establish an internal market for electricity and gas in South East Europe. This Treaty will extend the EU’s laws and regulations for the first time to other countries in a legally binding manner. A ministerial Conference will consider a final draft of the Treaty 13 December 2004. Trade unions from the countries concerned* discussed the internal market and exchanged experiences (...)


PRESS STATEMENT Public sector general strike in Italy, 30 November 2004 Public Services International (PSI) and the European Federation of Public Service Trade Unions (EPSU) support their public sector affiliates in the strike action they are taking on 30th of November against the new fiscal and financial plan for 2005. The Italian government’s plans for tax cuts are unjust, wrong and unsuited to tackling the economic and social situation in the country. The tax cuts will only benefit the (...)

Equal Pay Works!

Achieving pay equity for women in Europe’s public services A joint conference by PSI/EPSU and EI Geneva 7-8 October 2004 Joint Media Advisory (file attached) 4th October 2004 On 7th-8th October, public service and education trade unions from across Europe will meet at the ILO to discuss strategies to achieve equal pay. The conference forms part of Public Services International week of global action to promote pay equity, 4-8 October 2004. It is organised by PSI/EPSU and EI that have all (...)

Joint declaration Romanian and Italian unions in Enel (30 June 2004)

The European energy sector changes rapidly. It was one of the main topics of discussion at the EPSU Congress, 14 - 17 June 2004, Stockholm, Sweden. Europe`s trade unions adopted a Declaration on International Solidarity in an Integrated Industry. All unions signed the symbolically pledging to uphold trade union rights and to support each other in the case of conflict with employers many of which are now active in more European countries. One of these company is the Italian electricity (...)

Pensions: prime pillar of social Europe (16 June 2004)

Congress press release Secure state and occupational pensions as one of the prime pillars of a social Europe was reaffirmed at the European Federation of Public Service Unions’ (EPSU) Congress in Stockholm today. This was by means of a Resolution (R.3.) on pensions, upholding the principle of secure state and occupational pensions. This poison on pensions has the weight of eight million European public service workers and citizens behind it. A wide-ranging debate which acknowledged the (...)

Irish Presidency pledge to defend EPSU interests on eve of Constitution debate (16 June 2004)

Congress press release On the eve of a crucial meeting of European Union (EU) leaders, the Irish EU Presidency pledged to the European Federation of Public service Unions (EPSU) that public services and basic rights would not be “diminished.” Dick Roche, the Irish Minister for European Affairs, one of the Irish EU Presidency’s key figures, gave this undertaking at EPSU’s four yearly Congress in Stockholm today (16 June). In so doing he was addressing the concerns of 8 million public service (...)

Public Service Unions united against EU Bolkestein Directive (16 June 2004)

Congress press release European Commission member, Fritz Bolkestein has united the eight million public service workers represented by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), against his controversial draft law. An emergency resolution opposing his draft directive was adopted at the trade union organisation’s Congress in Stockholm today ( 15 June). The emergency resolution on the Directive on Services in the Internal Market took place in close conjunction with a major (...)

European Energy Unions sign Transnational Solidarity Accord (15 June 2004)

Congress press release EPSU delegates have unanimously agreed a transnational solidarity accord for the European Electricity and Gas sectors at their Congress today. The accord states that Companies who violate social standards, or companies that do not sign the appropriate collective agreement for the Electricity sector, will be targeted by all EPSU energy unions. EPSU’s energy affiliates will engage in a solidarity campaign to ensure compliance of the company with these standards. (...)

Legislative Standstill call to protect Public Services (14 June 2004)

Congress press release The legislative proposals and public comments of European Commissioner, Mr. Fritz Bolkestein provoked “outrage” at the opening of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) Congress in Stockholm, leading to a call for a “legislative standstill” in relation to the increasingly notorious Bolkestein directive. This was seen as essential to protecting and promoting public services. The outrage against recent comments from the Bolkestein camp in the European (...)

Europe’s energy workers step up action for public services and support Bulgarian unions (3 May 2004)

The unions organising electricity workers in CITUB and Podkrepa, the two Bulgarian trade union confederations, will take regional and national action 3 and 12 May. The unions are protesting ill thought out plans of the government to privatise a number of distribution companies. The actions come after the government refused to engage in dialogue with the unions on the plans and their effects for workers and citizens. The bidders for the companies are familiar names in the European (...)

President Prodi shares trade union concerns on future of public services in the EU (5 April 2004)

“ The longer we wait for positive concrete action on Services of General Interest (SGI), the harder it becomes to demonstrate that workers’ rights and public services remain part of the EU equation. Otherwise, all that will be left is growing citizens’ disenchantment with the EU.” This was the key message an ETUC-headed delegation also composed of its service federations, EPSU, UNI-Europa, ETF and ETUCE, conveyed to the President of the Commission, Romano Prodi, at a meeting on 31 March in (...)

Our Europe - Europe that’s us - Action Day on 2 April 2004 in Brussels

In a framework of our campaign, the ETUC Executive Committee agreed to organise a European-wide Action day on the 2nd/3rd April 2004. The ETUC is aware that many of organisations are involved in national activities. However, to make quite visible that the 2nd April is a European Action day, ETUC would welcome if you could send a delegation from your organisation to participate in this (...)

Public service unions deplore Parliament’s pro-business vote on internal market strategy (12 March 2004)

The 11 March plenary vote on the report on the Internal market strategy priorities 2003-2006 sends worrying signals for the future of social Europe. In an unholy alliance of Christian Democrats and Liberals, the European Parliament voted for an Internal Market that will only serve the private interests of big business to the detriment of Europe’s public interest. This majority block defeated several amendments arguing for a more balanced social Europe. It also makes a farce of the ongoing (...)

Parliament urged to vote no to water liberalisation (9 March 2004)

On Wednesday 10 March, the European Parliament will vote in plenary on the Miller report on the Commission’s Internal Market Strategy Priorities 2003-2006. The draft report, as adopted in the Parliament’s Internal Market and Legal Affairs Committee, is not acceptable. It argues for water liberalisation, views the Internal Market solely as the playground of big business and has rejected most amendments calling for a more socially balanced approach to the internal market. It also calls for (...)

Trade unions and the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue (10 February 2004)

A recent meeting of Europe’s energy unions, organized by EPSU, considered the growing dependence of the EU on oil and gas from countries outside of the EU, especially Russia. Russia exports a major part of its oil and gas to the EU and the EU imports a growing share of its energy sources from Russia. The EU and Russia are also examining whether to interconnect the networks for transmission of electricity. Major European energy companies are investors in Russia while Russian companies such as (...)

Portuguese national strike in Public Administration 23 January

On 23 January 2004, the Portuguese public services trade unions held a National Strike in Public Administration. The aim of the strike was to secure: real negotiations; quality public services; real reform of the public service, and to oppose: the change in the retirement status; the privatization of essentials state services. The strike intends to send a message to the Portuguese government that workers will not only not accept this blatant disregard of their legal right to be (...)

Study on black-outs draws attention to human factor and public interest (15/12/03)

A new study Blackouts: “Do liberalisation and privatisation increase the risk?” by Dave Hall and Steve Thomas draws attention to the consequences employment cuts can have on the provision of electricity as an essential service. EPSU commissioned the study from Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) on the occasion of the Council of Ministers for Energy, 15 December 2003. The Council will consider the package of measures to promote security of supply proposed by the European (...)

Social Implications of the internal market in electricity, Tallinn Conference (21-22/11/03)

Employers’ and trade union representatives of the energy sector of the Baltic countries are meeting on 21st-22nd November in the Estonian capital Tallinn to discuss the social implications of the European Union internal market in electricity, whose rules the new Member States joining the Community have to apply. The conference, organised by the Union of the Electricity Industry-EURELECTRIC, representing the employers and EPSU/EMCEF for the trade unions, takes place within the official (...)

Social Implications of the Internal Market for Electricity - Balkan Regional Conference (7-8/11/03)

Employers’ and trade unions representatives of the energy sector of the Balkan countries are meeting, on the 7th and 8th of November 2003 at the Best Western Parc Hotel from Bucharest, to discuss the social implications of the European Union internal market for electricity, whose rules the new member states joining the Community over the next three years have to apply. Representatives of employees and trade unions from Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy and Greece attend the (...)

Did Commission get it wrong? New package addresses failures of Internal Market for electricity and gas (11/12/2003)

The European Commission adopted a package of measures to address the failures of the internal market for electricity and gas on 9 December 2003. The proposals for Directives are a clear signal that liberalised energy markets do not deliver a reliable and continuous service. Government and regulatory oversight remains essential. Governments will have to ensure reserve capacity and investments in the networks, something the energy companies will not provide out of good will, and for which (...)

Social Implications of the Internal Market for Electricity - Visegrad Conference (19-20/09/03))

The new EU Member States will implement the internal market and open their markets, first for large industrial electricity users and in a second stage for households, "The internal market will have an effect on jobs, pay and working conditions. It is important that unions and employers discuss this", says Jiri Kubicek, President of the Czech energy workers union OSE. "Social dialogue between unions and employers and with the government is essential to address these consequences", he adds. (...)

EPSU, CEMR, EUROCITIES challenge the views of the Commission on Services of General Interest (16/09/03)

for the Joint Statement see also EPSU-CEMR-EUROCITIES in the European Parliament, a round table discussion