TIGHT VOTE IN PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON SERVICES DIRECTIVE.

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As Europe Information was going to press (on the eve of November 22), the European Parliament's Internal Market Committee was voting on the 1,602 tabled amendments to the controversial draft Services Directive. The only clear point to have emerged was that the committee comprehensively threw out amendments that rejected the Directive altogether i.e. it wants a Services Directive in some form. On the proposal's scope and on the country-of-origin principle, it was looking as though amendments tabled by the right-wing alliance of EPP-ED, Liberals and UEN would narrowly pass. These amendments were closer to what the European Commission originally proposed than the rival amendments being proposed by the Socialist/Green/GUE alliance. On about 20 of the less contested articles in the Directive, a genuine cross-party consensus seemed set to prevail. The committee's opinion will be submitted to the plenary session in January or February 2006. Once the MEPs adopt their first reading opinion, the EU Council of Ministers can...

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