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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


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 (...)

Secret cabal of lawyers make a killing from public services related investor-state disputes – Profiting from Injustice

The European Union is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with Canada (CETA), The negotiators are considering the inclusion of so-called arbitration mechanisms in the case of investor state disputes. This would allow private companies to pursue a government in case a democratic majority seeks to re-negotiate or cancel an unfair contract as in the case of Bechtel against the Bolivian government. Due to large protest across the world and with the support of PSI amongst others, the (...)

EPSU warns for a series of UK Opt-outs as Cameron seeks “reconfiguration” of relation with EU

(10 October 2012) The UK prime minister, the conservative party leader David Cameron, has announced that he will call for a referendum on the future relationship with the UK. Opposed as he is to leaving the EU, he wants a different settlement. He knows the European market is important for UK exports. He seeks to have the Single Market, and not much more. EPSU, Europe’s public service federation, is concerned about an approach to the EU which would undermine protection for workers in the (...)

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