(28 February 2017) Speaking at the European Parliament TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) intergroup meeting, Penny Clarke, Deputy General Secretary of EPSU said: ‘It has been a year since the European Parliament adopted a resolution which laid down a number of ‘red lines’ for TiSA, now might be a good time to reflect on what we have learnt over the past 12 months.
‘It may be a good thing that TiSA has effectively been placed in cold storage allowing greater reflection to take place on its shortcomings. TiSA liberalises public services, such as healthcare, education, water and sanitation; it doesn’t safeguard data privacy or promote workers’ rights; and the ‘right to regulate’ is not really protected at all, as this right is subjugated to the commitments and reservations that are made in the agreement. Democratic policy space to regulate – also for the local level - must be much broader and encompass all parties to the agreement, not just the EU, and not just for today but also for tomorrow.’
Clarke went on to say, ‘with the on-going debacle that is CETA’, whose ratification EPSU opposes, ‘it is a good time to move away from the ‘new generation’ trade deals such as CETA and TiSA, which seek to escalate the failed de-regulation and liberalisation agenda of austerity. People don’t want more one-way market opening of public services, and certainly not at international level.’
EPSU is convinced that as it currently stands TiSA would damage the delivery of quality public services, undermine transparency in areas such as tax reports and act against the best interests of European citizens and consumers. ‘It is time to move away from the mantra of open markets towards fair and regulated trade that supports sustainable economic growth, quality jobs and public services,’ concluded EPSU’s Deputy General Secretary.