EU Commission must drop renewed attempt to liberalise ports

12 July 2004

EU Commission must drop renewed attempt to liberalise ports

The SP’s European Parliamentary Group has expressed its "extreme disquiet" over a renewed attempt by European Commissioner De Palacio to liberalise dockwork in European harbours. Unqualified dockworkers would, under the proposals, be permitted to perform tasks currently reserved for properly trained and qualified personnel. Almost precisely the same proposals last year provoked mass resistance from European dockworkers, leading to the measure’s rejection by the European parliament.

Erik Meijer, SP-fractievoorzitter Europees ParlementErik Meijer, Member of the European Parliament for the SP, was among the leading supporters of the dockers’ actions and demands. He cannot understand why Commissioner De Palacio has retabled the proposed Port Services Directive. "The Parliament was quite clear in its rejection of the measure. It surely isn’t right that after being defeated democratically you can then bring forward almost exactly the same proposal so short a time afterwards."

Meijer predicts that this renewed attempt will provoke mass indignation amongst dockworkers. "The dockworkers’ attitude was clear. This will lead to renewed resistance, resistance which will be supported by the SP both inside and outside the Parliament."

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