Sinn Féin - On Your Side

de Brún urges fellow Irish MEPs to oppose the EUs relentless privatisation agenda

9 February, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today urged her fellow Irish MEPs to vote down the EU Services Directive and 'make a stand to help create an Ireland and Europe which protects both workers and our public services'

MEPs are due to vote at next week's plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on whether to accept or reject the directive.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"As Irish MEPs we need to be sending a collective message to the European Commission and those national governments who believe that it is acceptable to privatise everything and anything that moves - that we oppose their relentless privatisation agenda, as well as their constant undermining of the rights of workers and users of public services.

"News of a deal between the EU Parliament's two largest groupings, the EPP and the Socialist Grouping will not dilute the substance and ethos of the directive, and I would urge MEPs to specifically reject this proposal.

"The EU Services Directive will open up public services to competition and de-regulation including "services that correspond to economic activity and are open to competition." This broad definition includes many public services - education and health being two of the most obvious. It will also deny Ireland the possibility to define which public services it should retain responsibility for. Crucially, this directive will remove safeguards needed to protect the rights of workers and the general public.

"I want to take this opportunity to appeal to my fellow Irish MEPs to oppose the EU Services Directive, when it comes before the European Parliament next week. We must make a stand if we want to create an Ireland and Europe which protects both workers and our public services." ENDS

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