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EU Commission Single Market proposals ‘not ambitious’ enough Too little is done for citizens says PES


28 Oct 2010


Social Europe & Jobs

27 October 2010

The Single Market Act presented by the European Commission today is a step forward, but not ambitious enough. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists (PES), stated: “I welcome the fact that the European Commission is finally taking steps to promote the completion of the Single Market, but I am concerned by the gaps between the interests of the economy and the interests of the people. Adopting a ‘Citizenship Report’ which outlines how citizens receive support in buying property in other EU countries or how to register their cars, does not address the real concerns of citizens: The social dimension in the Single Market Act is weak and it does not sufficiently answer the challenge of 23 million unemployed Europeans and 80 million living in poverty.”

The PES agrees that the initiatives proposed by the European Commission are needed to strengthen the European Internal Market and especially to support Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. However, there is glaring absence of a ‘social clause’. The PES reiterates that the introduction of such a social clause is essential to promote social progress and to ensure that internal market legislation does not interfere with labour and social rights, such as the right to strike.

Also disappointing for the Party of European Socialists is the absence of any commitment to revise the Posting of Workers Directive. While it is noted that the Commission acknowledges there is a problem, Mr. Rasmussen said that “the directive needs to be revised to ensure that fundamental social rights prevail over economic freedoms, not the other way around. The Commission proposal to only enhance the implementation and to ‘clarify’ the role of social rights is insufficient.”

The European Commission also failed, yet again, to put forward a legislative proposal to ensure high-quality, accessible and affordable public services. Considering the important role of public services for the well being of citizens and for economic growth, it is careless to postpone the presentation of concrete proposals to 2011. The PES reiterates that it is important to achieve real improvements in the prices and quality of services such as energy, transport, telecommunication and postal services. Additionally, revising public procurement rules with the sole purpose of reducing expenditure and without acknowledging their social and environmental dimension could have negative effects for the provision of public services.

The launch of a consultation process on anticipating industrial restructuring is welcome, but what is really needed is the rapid provision of real support to the manufacturing sector, helping it to compete with other regions and to ensure green transformation.

The 2011 work programme of the European Commission, also presented today, underlines even more starkly that the well being of European citizens is not a priority for the work of this conservative dominated Commission. It is missing concrete proposals to support job creation, to improve the quality of work, to lift people out of poverty, to overcome youth unemployment, to strengthen energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies and the introduction of a European Financial Transaction Tax.

For further information please contact Brian Synnott on +32 474 98 96 75 (



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