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Healthcare, social services and education are not businesses

17 June 2014, Brussels – Today, the Social Platform together with SOLIDAR, the European Federation of Public Services Union (EPSU) and the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) organised a debate on the ‘possible impacts of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on social and health services’ (1). During the discussion, it became clear that the TTIP could have a detrimental impact on essential public services such as social and health services. Although the European (...)

EPSU/NUPGE send joint letter on CETA to EC Commissioner and EU and Canadian governments

In the joint letter (30 April) EPSU and NUPGE repeat concerns over the possible inclusion in CETA of investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) provision and ‘negative listing’ of commitments that exacerbate liberalisation of public services. Since October 2013 there has been little news about CETA but this week the negotiations will be on the EU Council agenda. For more see the joint letter: EPSU-NUPGE Joint letter (...)

EU trade agreements and public services
EPSU background note, March 2014

EU trade agreements and public services EPSU background note, March 2014 1. Why are public services and trade policy a growing issue for EPSU? In 2011 EPSU received a leaked EC ‘reflections paper’ on the EU’s approach to public services in international trade and investment agreements. In the paper public services are viewed only in terms of their ‘commercial interest,’ not values. There was no reference to the Lisbon Treaty provisions and in particular the Protocol of Services of (...)

EP elections May 2014 - EPSU briefing

(20 December 2013) The issues at stake in the May 2014 European Parliamentary (EP) elections are of fundamental importance. Citizens must elect Members (MEPs) who will help change the course the EU is taking. The 2009 EP elections had the lowest ever turnout (43 % of the 375 million Europeans entitled to vote) and current disillusion in Europe may lead to an even lower turn-out in 2014. A low turn-out will strengthen the position of right-wing extremist parties in the new EP. The (...)

Trade union response to the EC Roadmap

Trade union response to the EC Roadmap on the Communication on “Strengthening the Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries” (5 December 2013) The response from the Development Cooperation Network takes a critical stance towards the “blending” of public and private moneys, through public grants to private businesses and “risk sharing agreements” such as Public-Private Partnership for financing infrastructure. It points out that the (...)

Why EPSU does not participate in the Commission’s Single Market Month

(26 August 2013) The Commission will launch in September 2013 a Single Market Month involving several on-line public debates. In a letter sent on to the Director General of DG Markt EPSU voices concern about the approach taken and the continuing priority given to the Single Market over social Europe. For our letter : EPSU letter on SMA to DG Markt and the reply from Jonathan Faull, Director General for Internal Market and Services : Response from JF DG (...)

Brief report of the OECD Meeting on Public Sector Innovation

18 March 2013, Paris Following a meeting at ministerial level of the OECD Public Governance Committee (PGC) end-2010 , the OECD created an “Observatory of Public Sector Innovation” composed of a dozen of PGC delegates and serviced by the OECD Secretariat (GOV Directorate). The Observatory is currently chaired by the French PGC delegate Francoise Waintrop and aspires to “become a platform for producing, sharing and disseminating knowledge on public sector innovation”. In addition to steering (...)

OECD Working Party on State Ownership and Privatisation Practices: competitive neutrality

(16 March 2012) Please find below for your information a joint EPSU/PSI/TUAC critique of the OECD’s work on ’competitive neutrality’. According to the OECD ’competitive neutrality’ basically means that government businesses should operate, to the largest extent feasible, in the same regulatory environment as private enterprises. You will see however that there are a number of problems with the OECD’s approach, including: undefined scope, diverse national interpretations; failure to (...)

Social services: What political options after the 3rd social services of general interest (SSGI) Forum

(16 November 2010) On 10 November EPSU participated in a conference organised by the European Parliament’s public services and social economy Intergroups on "Social services: What political options after the 3rd social services of general interest (SSGI) Forum? ". For the conference EPSU distributed a short paper setting out ‘seven demands for SSGI’ (see below), which was drawn up following the joint LRG/HSS eldercare workshop on October 27 and served as input into the EU presidency SSGI (...)


1. The EC questionnaire states that “An initiative on concessions would aim to facilitate the use of concessions and ensure best value for money for both users and contracting authorities, by providing all interested parties with legal security and guaranteeing transparency and equal treatment for economic operator.” This sentence shows that the framework set for the consultation is heavily biased towards assessing concessions against one perspective only – that of competition. EPSU expected a (...)

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