The mayors of ten European capital sign a declaration in support of public services

Brussels, 09/11/2007

Why have the mayors of ten capital cities (Brussels, Paris, London, Luxembourg, Lisbon, Sofia, Amsterdam, Tallinn, Vienna and Nicosia) signed the declaration on public services? Because these services meet the daily needs of European citizens and are crucial to their well-being. Public services are equally essential to the economic development of a town or country: who is going to invest in a region lacking the public services that support such development? Above all, public services guarantee social and economic cohesion. They have an indispensable role in strengthening solidarity.

These are some of the reasons why the mayors of the cities have signed this joint declaration. They see that privatisation weakens public services, and threatens to marginalise specific areas and citizens. They believe also that social integration and solidarity are being put at risk. The ETUC has always believed universal access to public services to be a fundamental right and one of the pillars of the European Social Model. That is why the ETUC launched a petition in 2006 in support of public services a petition which has attracted almost half a million signatures.
Apart from their mission of promoting cohesion, public services are a long-term investment for the benefit of all.

On the eve of publication of the European Commission's new strategy for the internal market, the ETUC and the mayors of European capital cities warn against following the route of privatisation alone. The joint declaration states that the European Commission must stop continually pushing the privatisation-liberalisation of public services as the answer. In opposition to this neo-liberal approach, the mayors who have signed the declaration, together with the ETUC, propose a European framework directive to guarantee services and support their prime mission of cohesion and solidarity, as well as making them affordable to all.

People care not only about the range but also the quality of public services. The Commission must take account of their expectations if it wants to win support for the European project.

Press contacts:

For the city of Brussels:

Nicolas Dassonville – Tel: 02 279 50 17 – 0475 60 82 42

[email protected]

For the ETUC: Patricia Grillo – Tel: 0477 77 01 64

[email protected]