I consider that the closed list of services of general interest is too limited and will leave many services in limbo. Are they in or out? We have no framework directive on these areas, which are essential in combating poverty and encouraging social cohesion and are of particular importance to women. They are key EU policies.
The Commission statement this morning cannot bind the future Commission which will be holding office when the directive comes into force. The statement has no legal standing before the ECJ, which will now be making decisions that Parliament chose to duck. We have seen in today’s vote that the majority of this House prefers not to make clear statements on labour rights and the protection of public services. How will they explain to their councillors at local and regional level that they are weakening their role in determining the provision of services of general interest and safeguarding the public interest? Parliament has achieved positive changes in the original proposal. We could have done more.