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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 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 (...)

Briefing reveals evidence on public sector efficiency

A new briefing prepared by the Public Services Privatisation Research Unit for EPSU’s 2014 Congress provides extensive evidence to counter arguments that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector. Summarising the main findings from international studies across nine different sectors, the briefing argues that there is no empirical evidence that the private sector is intrinsically more efficient. The same results emerge consistently from sectors and services which are (...)

Election 2014 - Useful tool to check voting behaviour European politicians and parties

(11 April 2014) With the European elections less than 50 days from now, many people will consider who to give their vote to. Tools to check the positions of the political parties can assist especially when positions are maybe less well-known www.electio2014.eu/matchyour.... It allows you to answer questions such as: should maternity leave be extended on full pay from 14 to 20 weeks; should the poorer regions of Europe continue to receive funding; should the European Commission have more (...)

EPSU supports European Transport Workers in fight against railway liberalisation

(24 February 2014) The European Commission has proposed the opening up of the railway market in the European Union. More competition for passengers services via procurement for services and the break up of the existing integrated companies aer some of the proposals of the European Commission. ETF predicts this will go at the expensive of the quality of the service, safety and employment. Members of the European Parliament have strengthened the social conditions under which procurement can (...)

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 (...)

No to further liberalisation says EPSU on the occasion of 4th Railway Package

What is next ? Water services? Healthcare ? (19 February 2013) EPSU, Europe’s Public Service Workers Trade Union Federation is alarmed that the European Commission with its 4th railway package continues its ideological push to liberalise public services in the European Union. EPSU is concerned that the same arguments will be applied to other public services such as healthcare and water and sanitation. The Commission is proposing a template for all Member States independent of their (...)

Eastern European confederations debate public services

On 19-20 December 35 representatives of trade union confederations from Eastern Europe and Central Asia met in Brussels to discuss public services, public finances, taxation, corruption, procurement and trade agreements. The meeting was jointly organised by EPSU and the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC) of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Impact of liberalisation The meeting began with a debate about liberalisation and its impact on the European Union but also on how (...)

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