The Services Directive : an unending story

Brussels, 09/05/2007

An own-initiative report on health services was reviewed by the European Parliament's Internal Market Committee this week. The vote resulted in a challenge to the compromise on the Services Directive. The report will be forwarded to the European Parliament plenary session and put to the vote on 24 May.

The ETUC has always opposed the idea of health services being considered as mere merchandise and has called for their exclusion from the Services Directive. Indeed, the compromise on the directive excludes public and private health services from its scope owing to their particular nature, mission and importance.

The European Parliament succeeded in finding a way out of the impasse created by the Commission. Accordingly, the ETUC has never understood the necessity or sense of an own-initiative report that is now being turned against its draftsmen. Parliament is now at risk of endangering the work brought to conclusion after two years of debate, review and decisions. The ETUC urges the Parliament to vote against this amendment which could backfire.