EP report on the future of SSGI voted in EMPL Committee

(Brussels, 20 June 2011) The European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee on 6 June adopted the own-initiative report on social services of general interest (SSGI), presented by rapporteur Proinsias De Rossa (S&D, IRL).

Personal social services such as elderly and long-term care, child care, care for people with disabilities, social housing, etc., contribute to social protection, social inclusion and social cohesion. They enhance the capacity of individuals to enjoy their fundamental rights and to participate fully in the social, economic and political life and therefore should feature prominently in the European societies and stay one cornerstone of the European Social Model.

EPSU had actively accompanied and contributed to the process of drafting and discussing the report during the last months. EPSU contributed to a hearing of the EMPL Committee in January 2011 and to a hearing of the Trade Union Intergroup in March 2011. In March and April 2011 EPSU had sent comments to the rapporteur, shadow rapporteurs and co-rapporteurs on amendments presented by MEPs in view of the drafting of compromise amendments to the report. The majority of issues advocated for by EPSU has been taken up in the draft report voted in the EMPL Committee.

EPSU’s requests and recommendations have been summarised into key messages (follow link below). Following the vote on the compromise amendments in the EMPL Committee we put together a document that contains an overview on the main steps in the process related to this EP report, lists the main issues covered by the EP report and gives EPSU’s assessment of the compromise amendments (cf. below).

In having adopted the report, MEPs support the modernisation of EU public procurement rules, call for the introduction of social criteria relating to the provision of services and plead for the review of state aide rules applicable to SSGI. The report urges the European Commission to recognise the non-market characteristics of SSGI, the role of local and regional authorities and the social provisions of the European treaties. All these elements are fully supported and welcomed by EPSU.

As to future EU-level governance, the report suggest setting up a high-level permanent working group involving a broad range of stakeholders and to prepare a 4th Forum on SSGI. EPSU would welcome if an agenda with concrete deliverables could be agreed upon. Work should be geared towards measures to directly benefit the users of SSGI, the quality of the services, the promotion of quality work and the financial sustainability of related systems. EPSU also strongly advocates for the elaboration of specific sectoral policies with tangible goals – e.g. EU action plans on elderly/long-term care, care for people with disabilities, mental health, child care or housing in order to illustrate the potential EU added value of joint work and of common quality frameworks at EU-level.

Find out more about the process related to the EP report and the main issues covered and read EPSU’s assessment of the compromise amendments

Read EPSU’s requests and recommendations regarding the EU-level legal, policy and quality framework on SSGI

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