EU Services Directive: Irrgang calls for new recommendation from Council of State

10 March 2006

EU Services Directive: Irrgang calls for new recommendation from Council of State

SP Member of Parliament Ewout Irrgang intervened in a debate with Minister of Economic Affairs Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst to issue a call for a new recommendation on the EU Directive on Services, recently adapted by the European Parliament. This was necessary, he said, because great uncertainty existed with regard to the current proposal.

Ewout IrrgangFear that clarification would be left entirely to the European Court of Justice was being felt across the board, because it was now totally unclear just what came under the directive and what did not. It was, for instance, by no means certain whether the country of origin principle, which states that people may work in another country under the rules which prevail in the country in which their employer is registered, has been scrapped or not. “And the Christian Democrats in the European Parliament say that private health care services do come under the directive, while the Social Democrats say they don't. This uncertainty must be ended,” he said.

Mr Irrgang also demanded further clarification regarding the so-called “Dear Charlie” letter, a letter sent to European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy which was jointly signed by Mr Brinkhorst and which called for as little deviation as possible from the original text proposed by then EU Commissioner Frits Bolkestein. “This goes completely against what Brinkhorst has said to Parliament in the recent past,” he said, “when he informed us that he could be relied upon to argue for certain exceptions, such as collectively-organised pension funds, taxation and provision of drinking water.”

You are here