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Call for MEPs to reject services directive

13 January, 2006

Sinn Féin International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on MEPs across the EU to vote to reject the proposed services directive in February.

Speaking at a SIPTU seminar on the proposed services directive in Liberty Hall today deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "The text of the directive following the lead committee's vote last November leaves the problems at the heart of the commission's proposal unchanged. The controversial country of origin principle remains. The Government is supportive of this principle. However, it is widely recognised by European trade unions and civil society groups including Sinn Féin that the country of origin principle will lead to social dumping and the encouragement of downward regulatory competition between member states.

"The main thrust of the services directive is still one of deregulation. This includes deregulation relating to authorisation schemes, monitoring procedures and provisions aimed at ensuring service quality and access. The ability to regulate service provision in the public interest is an essential tool that every elected authority must be allowed to hold on to.

"The directive in the form proposed by the internal market committee would have a grave and negative impact on a broad range of policy efforts to protect workers, service users and the environment alike.

"Sinn Féin have been active on this issue engaging with others across Europe in a campaign to defeat the directive. Earlier this week four Sinn Féin representatives were accompanied to Brussels by three Irish trade unionists to a meeting on the directive in the European parliament. I welcome this initiative on the part of SIPTU to raise awareness around this little-discussed directive which has potentially massive implications and I would call on all MEPs to reject the directive when it goes to a vote in February." ENDS

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