Thursday

25th Aug 2016

MEPs adopt watered down services law

The European Parliament has in a first reading adopted the landmark services directive, after MEPs supported amendments in favour of more social protection in the bill.

Most of the amendments were prepared in the compromise text filed jointly ahead of the vote by the two biggest parliamentary groups, the centre-right EPP-ED and the socialist PSE.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Under the approved version, the contentious "country of origin" principle is no longer included in the directive.

The scope of the services bill has also been slimmed down, by excluding social, health care, security and transport services, as well as temporary work agencies.

However, commercial service providers in the area of education or culture, as well as companies delivering water or gas will be governed by the new law.

The German socialist rapporteur on the bill Evelyne Gebhardt noted "We have turned this directive upside down," thanking her colleagues for "excellent results" after two hours of voting on more than 400 amendments.

Her report on the controversial Bolkestein directive, so called after its Dutch ex-commissioner author was then adopted by 391 votes, with 213 MEPs voting against and 34 abstaining.

But the centre-right also claimed victory, with UK conservative MEP indicating "Three quarters of the amendments that reshaped the proposal came from our side, in close cooperation with our [liberal] ALDE and [right-wing] UEN allies."

Today's vote comes after almost two years of discussions in the parliament, and it attracted anxious attention up until the last moment as several centre-right deputies from Scandinavia and the "new" EU countries opposed the deal between the EPP-ED and the PSE.

The European Commission welcomed the vote and said it will begin work on preparing a modified proposal based on the vote in the European Parliament.

"With the broad consensus reached on key aspects of this proposal the European Parliament has provided us with a solid basis for going forward," European internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy stated.

"This represents a real advance, a step that no one would have believed possible just 12 months ago. I believe that today's vote demonstrates that there is a willingness in Europe to pursue measures to deliver more jobs and growth," he added.

"I look now to the Council of Ministers to complete the work which has been done by Parliament."

Warning over Europe's sugar-guzzling habits

Europeans get through a huge amount of sugary drinks, causing serious risks to their health, a study backed by anti-obesity campaigners suggests. But southern Europe has seen a marked decline in consumption.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  2. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  3. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  4. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  5. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  6. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  7. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  8. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  9. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  10. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey
  11. GoogleA Little Bird Told us to Start Tweeting About Google’s Work Across Europe. Learn More @GoogleBrussels
  12. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?

Latest News

  1. Italy earthquake is test for Renzi
  2. Let's fix EU copyright law, for innovation and creativity online
  3. French government tries to defuse burkini row
  4. EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join?
  5. US slams EU competition policies
  6. French diesel committee 'did not cover up for Renault'
  7. EU backs Greek ex-data chief over criminal charges
  8. EU must step up migrant relocation, say Italy and Greece