SERVICES: TWO BIGGEST GROUPS IN PARLIAMENT ROW BITTERLY OVER DIRECTIVE.

 
FREE EXCERPT

Bad blood between rapporteurs.

This was supposed to be the committee's first examination of the amendments since German Socialist MEP Evelyne Gebhardt presented the final part of her report in June. However, much of it was taken up with bickering between Ms Gebhardt and Malcolm Harbour (United Kingdom) who spoke on behalf of the EPP-ED. Mr Harbour was irked that Ms Gebhardt had not answered written questions he sent her demanding clarifications. She responded curtly oyes, you submitted 50 questions to me but I assume you do not want me to act like a schoolgirl answering the EPP's test. I will answer the questions orally in this committeeo. She thanked the shadow rapporteurs from the Greens Heide Ruhle (Germany) and Liberals Anneli Jaatteenmaki (Finland). She added oof course I will try to work with Mr Harbour but I do not see how we are going to reconcile our positionso.

Big scope/small scope?

Mr Harbour attacked the Socialists for seeking to reduce the Directive's scope by demanding that public services be clearly excluded from it and dealt with in a separate Directive. oThis is a red herring, a diversionary tactico, he said. oThe Directive says nothing about how to fund or regulate public services we make this clear but you cannot totally exclude them because in many countries they are provided on an open marketo. He also slammed Ms Gebhardt's call for an indicative list of sectors to which the Directive applies, dubbing it oexcessively bureaucratic and complicatedo.

Heide Ruhle from the Greens also had a problem with the scope but hers was that the scope was too wide. The Greens' first preference is for the Commission to withdraw the Directive. Acknowledging that this is not going to happen, Ms Ruhle said a positive list of areas to which it applies is better than the Commission's option of a negative list of areas to which it does not apply. Ms Jaatteenmaki for the Liberals suggested that health services be excluded. Commission Director-General for DG Internal Market Alexander Schaub told the MEPs...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL