The last Executive before our Congress took place on 1 April

(3 April 2014) We just finished the last Executive Committee before EPSU’s 9th Congress. The issues we deal with show that trade unions do have alternatives and are mobilised to obtain them.

We reinforce our demand for more transparency from the European Commission in its trade negotiations to conclude the Transnational Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States by signing on to a broad call for more openness with a range of NGO’s. We reject liberalisation through the back door of public services. Will the trade agreements bring new rights for workers, or will it make it more difficult for governments and the EU to improve health and safety, equality and information and consultation rights? We will support PSI to raise awareness on the plurilateral agreement on Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) in which the EU is a leading partner. On 28 April we will draw attention to the risks of TISA for working people and public services and affiliates are called up on to show these risks at national level.

The Executive also approved a statement For a People Friendly Administration. With the statement EPSU highlights the role of public administrations at all levels to work for the public interest by
- defending consumer and workers' interests,
- protecting the environment,
- promoting equality and equal treatment,
- contributing to good governance,
- addressing corruption so essential for economic growth and wellbeing.

Without well resourced and staffed public administrations, unscrupulous business players would have a free hand to abuse workers, deplete resources, pollute the environment. EPSU will campaign to avoid such scenario.

Of course, the first European Citizens Initiative was also on the agenda of our Executive Committee. The European Commission has published a communication in response to the ECI. EPSU has already reacted to this communication criticizing its lack of ambition. This view is shared by the leading candidates of the main political parties that have stated that they support the ECI and will seek to implement it. This is a positive commitment and we want to see similar commitments on public services, workers' rights and a #newpath4Europe.

Together with ETUC and ten thousands of union colleague from across Europe we will be demonstrating on 4 April to express our demand for a new direction Europe so desperately need after the misery caused by the Barosso- Rehn team on millions in Ireland, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus amongst others. We will fight for our vision, for quality public services, for social justice and for jobs for all.

Yours

Carola Fischbach-Pyttel