Report EPSU 8th Congress: EPSU Congress agrees resolution on Economic and Financial Crisis

Final adopted text of the Congress resolution

(9 June 2009, Brussels) “Delegates we must commit ourselves here today to a campaign for a new economic model – a true social market economy”, Blair Horan (CPSU, Ireland) introducing the resolution.

The European Federation of Public Service Unions has agreed a set of action points to tackle the Economic and Financial Crisis. At the 8th Congress of EPSU, the delegates unanimously agreed to adopt the resolution entitled; “The Financial and economic crisis: consequences for the public sector and the economy at large”.

The resolution was introduced, on behalf of the EPSU Executive Committee, by Blair Horan (CPSU, Ireland). Mr. Horan spoke on the need to put an end to the neo-liberal policies that had caused such damage, noting particularly that competition, left unchecked, causes huge damage to society. “This is not a normal recession that is a feature of capitalism, but a complete failure of the neo-liberal model”. He also called for a policy that only protected banks which had a ‘key systemic role’ in society, rather than a blanket bail-out approach.

The session in which the resolution was adopted, was introduced by John Evans of the OECD trade union advisory committee. Mr. Evans welcomed the EPSU commitment to a collective trade union response and urged that the following measures be taken:

- No return to neo-liberalism
- An end to tax havens
- A broader, more sustainable tax base by national governments

Mr. Evans also criticised the European Commission’s complacency in dealing with the crisis, saying that they are slow to adjust policy in the light of the economic downturn.

EPSU deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan outlined the concrete actions that the resolution would allow EPSU to take. They include:
- The promotion of public services, with the ETUC, to bring stability
- A European Central Bank that puts people first by promoting policies to prevent mass unemployment.
- Strict regulation of the banking sector and financial products to ensure that they are primarily there to support the real economy.

The following congress participants spoke during the debate on the resolution:

- Jane Carolan, Unison, UK
- Jenneke Van Pijpen, Abvakabo-FNV, Netherlands
- Marie-Odile Esch, CFDT-Interco, France
- Tatiana Nikitina, SEUU, Ukraine
- Neil License, PCS, UK
- Páll Hannesson, BSRB, Iceland
- Didier Bernus, FPSPSS-FO, France
- Eva Nordmark, SKTF, Sweden
- Ilias Vrettakos, ADEDY , Greece
- Merja Ailus, JYTY, Finland on behalf of all unions
- Bernd Loescher, USF, Belgium (EU institutions)

Final adopted text of the Congress resolution