Services of general interest: ETUC proposes a framework directive

Brussels, 20/09/2006

Services of general interest are acknowledged as one of the pillars of the European social model: that being the case, they have to be safeguarded. This is why the ETUC is convinced that a framework directive on SGEIs is necessary. Accordingly, and in order to counter the Commission's refusal to prepare such a directive, the ETUC is proposing the key elements which such a directive should include.

Developing the European social model is based on high-quality services of general interest which contribute to regional and social cohesion within the framework of a social market economy.

The ETUC has asked on several occasions for the Commission and the Member States to pursue a proactive strategy of negotiated modernisation of these services that aims to enhance them and help them to evolve. Services of general economic interest need to be based on general principles such as equal access, high-quality service, fair prices, universality, high-quality work and jobs, and security.