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European Vote ‘A green light to the far right’ as Conservative vote to limit migrant worker rights


25 Mar 2011


Social Europe & Jobs

‘Sad day for European Parliament reputation as protector of universal rights’ says Socialist MEP

24 March 2011, Brussels

The Conservative majority in the European Parliament today voted against the principle of equal treatment for all workers in the EU. Despite Socialist efforts to include key provisions, the Conservatives decided to vote against giving equal rights to migrant workers on pensions, social security and the EU’s ‘posted’ worker’ law.

The vote was on the ‘Single-Permit’ package, which is designed to speed up the EU work permit process.

Commenting on the vote, Spanish Socialist MEP Alejandro Cercas said that; “this was a sad day for the European Parliament’s reputation as the defender of universal rights”. He added that; “Many MEPs of the European Peoples Party have sent a message that will be picked up by the far-right, that xenophobia is somehow acceptable. Fortunately, at least some EPP members were courageous enough to break the party line”.

The President of the Party of European Socialists (PES) Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, stated that; “Alejandro Cercas has lead a valiant fight against the forces of fear. His respect for universal rights and equal treatment are core socialist values. Unfortunately others in the European Parliament do not see it this way. Their opposition has given a green light to the far right, that playing the politics of fear is acceptable”.

Mr. Rasmussen concluded that; “the fight will go on to the second reading in the European Parliament. We hope that, by then, those who have voted against the principle of equal treatment will have come to their senses”.


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

The PES brings together 33 socialist, social democratic, labour and progressive parties in the European Union and Norway, a parliamentary group in the European Parliament (184 MEPs) and in the Committee of the Regions (247 members) - plus observer and associate parties and organizations from all over Europe. ECOSY and PES Women are respectively the Youth and the Women's organizations of the PES.