05 October 2022

EPSU Press Launch of new report (English only) Outsourcing public administrations to private firms: the price to pay

EPSU Press Launch of new report (English only)
Outsourcing public administrations to private firms: the price to pay
Residence Palace, 5 October 2022, 14h00-16h30

The national and European Courts of Auditors as well as the media have recently shown interest in the use of private consulting firms by public authorities - including the European Commission. A new report by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) maps out the scale, triggers and impact of outsourcing - including to consulting firms across Europe.

The report finds that, in many countries, the state is becoming increasingly reliant on consulting firms, largely due to staff shortages. Consultancy groups and/or investment funds such as Accenture, McKinsey, PwC, EY, Capgemini or BlackRock Investment Management, to name the most notable, intervene in many areas at national and EU level: from pandemic management and policy development/implementation to personal data management and cutting civil service jobs.

The report highlights many concerns. Public contracts to external consultants are often expensive and opaque. Some governments do not keep a record of the total bill for taxpayers and show no evidence of better services for citizens. Given the economic, social and democratic cost of outsourcing, the report also provides positive examples of returning state services to public hands.

The press launch will provide an opportunity to learn more about this multi-faceted phenomenon, which is not new but is growing at a high-speed following over a decade of public budget austerity. It aims to kick off a debate on the fundamental right to good administration and the need for an EU framework on outsourcing including to external consultants.

The report - soon available here in EN, ES, FR, DE, IT, NL - seeks to contribute to the transparency and accountability of public administrations (local, national or EU levels) based on sufficient investment and trust in well-trained public staff to deliver good services to citizens. 

Invitees: Press, trade union delegates (EU and candidate countries), researchers, public officials

Registration here


Welcome by Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary, EPSU

Presentation of the report commissioned by EPSU Hollowed out: private sector dependency in EU governments and
 the European Commission, Vera Weghmann PSIRU (Public Services International Research Unit), University of Greenwich, UK

 - Q&A

Keynote speech on right to good administration from Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman

- Q&A

Exchange on outsourcing state functions to companies: to regulate or to ban? with Christie Morreale, Minister of Wallonia for Employment and Healthcare (tbc)

- Q&A

Q&A with Vera Weghmann, Nadja Salson (EPSU), national trade union delegates

Closing and drinks

See the report (EN/FR/NL/ES/IT) and the press release here


Event type

05 October 2022

rue de la Loi 155
Residence Palace
1040 Brussels