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PULLING THE TEETH FROM BOLKESTEIN Kathleen Walker Shaw GMB European Officer.

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Presentation on theme: "PULLING THE TEETH FROM BOLKESTEIN Kathleen Walker Shaw GMB European Officer."— Presentation transcript:

1 PULLING THE TEETH FROM BOLKESTEIN Kathleen Walker Shaw GMB European Officer

2 EU Policy in a vacuum Lack of consultation Imbalance in impact assessment – economic/financial no social or employment Better Regulation should mean what it says

3 Faces change, policy doesnt Refusal to withdraw proposal even after Bolkestein departed Commissioner McCreevy charges European Parliament to improve text Concerns over McCreevys position on Labour Law (Laval case – Swedish construction contract)

4 Workers of the world unite …. Trade union campaign highly co-ordinated Difficult process with so much to amend Sensitivities in ETUC and European Parliament Socialist Group

5 European Parliament v Bolkestein Text heavily amended by Parliament in February 2006 Many trade union concerns resolved Compromise reached very sensitive should not be undone

6 Commission and Council Response April 4 th 2006 EU Commission revised proposal, despite early concerns kept largely to Parliament compromise 29 May 2006 Council of Ministers Political agreement, again close to Parliament text European Parliament second reading expected in Autumn, with final adoption possible late 2006/early 2007

7 Outstanding concerns Other speakers will deal with issues in more detail: Need to ensure labour law and protection of collective agreements are watertight – there is some ambiguity, and concern linked to fundamental rights, use of in compliance with Community law reference etc. Services of General Interest/Services of General economic Interest not satisfactory Exclusion of social services too narrow Definitions of public interest and eligible requirements also need looking at Commission right to evaluate and screen requirements not acceptable

8 Campaign continues Trade unions can take pride in the solidarity and co-operation they showed in challenging this proposal But in the knowledge that we will need to rely on this solidarity time and again in the near future Bolkestein may have had many of its teeth pulled but the dragon of neo- liberalism has not been tamed. Many EU Member States and the EU Commission have not lost their appetite for liberalisation, and we can only expect there will be plenty more Bolkesteins in the sea. On same day that the Commission produced revised proposal on Services, it released a Communication on Posted Workers attempting to re-introduce many of the dangerous elements undermining posted workers rights, which we had successfully removed from the Services Text….. Clearly – no time to rest on our laurels just yet!

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