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Public Services & the EU

Promoting and protecting public services in Europe

EPSU wants to see a European Union that recognizes and supports the role of public services in contributing to sustainable development and quality of life. In an increasingly integrated Europe it is important to tackle issues such as tax dumping and cut-throat competition, which put pressure on public services and concentrate increasing amounts of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Fair and progressive taxation, good governance and effective regulation are needed to guarantee quality public services for all.
read more about public services in the EU


See also the links below for more information on:
- social services of general interest (SSGI)
- Financial and Economic crisis
- Research


Public sector unions demands for TTIP vote

(6 July 2015) EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, together with the European Trade Union Committee of Education (ETUCE) sent a letter to all Members of the European Parliament, regarding the upcoming vote on 8 July on TTIP report. In the letter EPSU/ETUCE call for: an unequivocal exclusion of ISDS a broad carve out of public services a strong labour chapter the rejection of Regulatory Cooperation as foreseen. Please see the joint letter for details on these (...)

Report on the EPSU/ETUC Public Procurement Meeting ”Socially Responsible Procurement”

Brief report of ETUC/EPSU workshop on Public Procurement, 21 May 2015 Introduction Mads Samsing, Chair of EPSU Standing Committee for Local and Regional Government opened the workshops and welcomed all participants. He introduced the objectives of the workshop, which were to see how to make the most use of the new Public Procurement Directives in respecting the following: ensure respect for employment legislation and collective agreements conditions in public contracts (mandatory (...)

Arbeit (Work) 4.0 About values, solidarity and decent work in a digital age

(15 June 2015) Digitalisation and increased automation bring many challenges for workers and including in public services. That is why Ver.di has been organising a series of conferences to consider the positive and negative aspects of the new technological revolution recognising that the technological progress is rapid. Digitalisation brings many opportunities for more autonomy and different management of working time for example. It could assist in freeing us from heavy and repetitive (...)

European Parliament’s intergroup Commons kicks off

(29 May 2015) With austerity policies impacting on public services and commercialisation increasingly effecting more spheres of public space, people in many European countries are developing alternatives, to cooperate in defense of what is of all use. Representatives of many such initiatives came together in the European Parliament to share experience and practice, how we can work together and if the European level can contribute. Members of different political parties are cooperating to (...)

Commission’s Better Regulation Agenda: Not one for workers

(18 May 2015) The European Commissioner Frans Timmermans will publish its communication on Better Regulation 19 May 2015. There are many issues the trade unions and other organisations are asking: Will small and medium-sized businesses be exempted from certain regulations ? So that if you are a worker in such a company you do not enjoy the same health and safety protection, or do not have the information and consultation rights as other workers ? In leaked versions the proposals of the (...)

Public Services Day 23 June

Hands off Public Services! No to TTIP, CETA, TiSA Photo gallery 23rd June is World Public Services Day. This year we would like to focus attention on the dangers presented by the current trade and investment agreements being negotiated by the European Commission. The recent 50th EPSU Executive Committee endorsed the decision to continue campaigning to exclude public sectors from these trade agreements and to work with other organisations around a number of other key demands (see below (...)

Public Services and Commons Intergroup set up

(24 February 2015) On February 12, the Members of the European Parliament voted to establish a new Intergroup on Public Services and Commons. This follows up on the previous Public Services Intergroup but broadens its horizon in a field which is very dear to the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) since the first successful ECI was carried through. Public Services are something that are defined by the European Commission in the framework of the Services of General Interest, (...)

Oxfam publication ’Wealth: having it all and wanting more’

(Brussels, 3 February 2015) Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More, a research paper published today by Oxfam, shows that the richest 1 percent have seen their share of global wealth increase from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014 and at this rate will be more than 50 percent in 2016. Members of this global elite had an average wealth of $2.7 million per adult in 2014. Of the remaining 52 percent of global wealth, almost all (46 percent) is owned by the rest of the richest fifth of (...)

Report challenges assumptions on private sector efficiency

(16 December 2014) There is no empirical evidence that the private sector is intrinsically more efficient than the public sector. This is the main conclusion from a comprehensive review of hundreds of studies covering all forms of privatisation across many different sectors. The report for EPSU by the Public Services Privatisation Research Unit (PSIRU) challenges the assumption that privatisation or Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) can always deliver a given level of service with lower (...)

Why we need public spending

(20 May 2014) New EPSU/PSI Study launched today at EPSU Congress, by Dave Hall, PSIRU Introduction and Executive summary This paper aims to explain why public spending, in particular on public services, is economically and socially vital. It is not an economic liability – rising public spending has been part of economic growth for over 100 years; it supports half the formal employment in the world, much of it in the private sector; it delivers services like healthcare and public goods (...)

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