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Services Directive would have negative implications for everybody - Ní Cormaic

8 February, 2006


South Dublin Sinn Féin representative Sorcha Ní Cormaic has said, when exploring the implications of the controversial European Services Directive we should remember that many of our most basic and essential services are actually planned, delivered or regulated by local authorities for example, water, waste collection, emergency services and social housing.

Miss Ní Cormaic was speaking at a public meeting organised by Sinn Féin on the Services Directive in Trinity College this evening.

She said, “The draft Services Directive was first proposed by the European Commission just over 2 years ago.  It came before the Oireactas Committee on European Affairs in March 2004.  Sinn Fein was the only party to contest and recognise the full threat posed by the Directive to workers and service users in this Committee.  The Directive is currently passing through the European Parliament which will vote on it, and on amendments to it, in the plenary session on Thursday 16th February.  Committees of the European Parliament have already produced reports on the Directive, however, the amendments accepted by the lead committee in particular make little substantive difference to the original proposal and they do not bind the voting decisions of MEPs in the plenary vote.

“The eventual Directive requires the approval of both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.  So following the MEPs vote next week the Directive passes to the Council of Ministers at which point the ball will be in the court of Member-State governments.

“Sinn Fein belongs to the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) in the European Parliament.  Our group has been the most united on the issue of the Services Directive, strongly opposing it from the beginning. In doing so we have worked alongside many organisations to have it withdrawn.

“Thankfully in recent weeks the media have begun to cover the debate between government and some of the social partners and the focus has been at that level.  But in exploring the implications of the Services Directive we should remember that many of our most basic and essential services are actually planned, delivered or regulated by local authorities for example, water, waste collection, emergency services and social housing. So the directive would have negative implications for everybody.

“Sinn Féin remains opposed to the Directive, and will vote to reject it in the European Parliament this month.  And encourage others to do the same.  We will, however, support any amendments that address our key concerns.” ENDS

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