Nonetheless the ETUC campaign has contributed to one step forward – the inclusion of a protocol in the EU Reform Treaty which recognises the primacy of services of general interest. This was achieved primarily by the Dutch Government but it lines up with the ETUC campaign which has been strongly supported by mayors of capital cities and many in civil society.
John Monks, ETUC General Secretary declared: “So our conclusion today is disappointment that the Commission has missed an opportunity to ensure that public services are sufficiently respected. The EU Reform Treaty, if ratified, could well help us achieve the same objectives. Nonetheless a more detailed Framework Directive would have clarified the necessarily general intentions of the EU Reform Treaty and the Commission should have seized the moment, and not ducked it”.
The Commission will be accused of regarding public services as a derogation from internal market rules and as a promoter of more liberalisation and privatisation.
The ETUC has informed the Commission that it must make more substantial progress to remedy this perception and, not least, conduct the promised analysis of the effects of liberalisation, in particular the effects on employment.