Safeguard of public services set as red line in EU trade agreements
Members of the European Parliament echo calls from civil society, public service providers and workers to fully exclude public services from trade agreements.
Today’s [3 February] adoption of a European Parliament resolution calling for the full exclusion of public services in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and future trade deals has been welcomed by Social Platform, the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services (CEEP), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). Public services are vital for social cohesion, sustainable growth and job creation.
The vote builds upon the Parliament’s adoption last July of a resolution calling on the European Commission to fully exclude current and future public services from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States, regardless of how they are provided or funded. The resolution on TiSA, authored by Member of the European Parliament Viviane Reding, goes further by requesting the European Commission to introduce a “gold standard” clause to exclude public services from the scope of trade agreements irrespective of how they are supplied.
The “gold standard” clause would considerably strengthen the protection of quality, accessible and affordable public services in EU trade agreements. The European Commission should now commit to changing its approach to public services not only in TiSA, but also in TTIP and future trade agreements.