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Rejection of E-Card hard blow for market fundamentalists

21 March 2018

Rejection of E-Card hard blow for market fundamentalists

The European Parliament Internal Market Committee today rejected by an overwhelming majority European Commission proposals for the introduction of the E-Card, aka the Electronic Services Card. Commenting on the outcome of the vote, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said, 'This is the first time that the European Parliament has given greater importance to social rights than to unbridled movement of services across borders. I hope that this represents an historic about-face and that we can build on it a European Union in which it's not the interests of multinationals and their market fundamentalism which take cetre stage but the rights of ordinary people.”

The rejection by the committee in effect kills the proposal and means that the European Commission will probably formally withdraw it in the near future. “The idea that a host country can inside a single week check whether service providers such as construction firms and self-employed workers not only have an E-Card but actually meet all requirements is completely unrealistic,” said De Jong. “ Given that the E-Card is issued by the country of origin, you're completely dependent on information provided by another member state. Yet in some member states there remains a major problem of corruption and it can't be ruled out that E-Cards are being issued without all necessary conditions having been fulfilled.´

In the Netherlands, both trade unions and employers' organisations are completely opposed to the Commission's proposals. “The E-Card will make checks more difficult and this will only encourage unfair competition and exploitation. Nobody will benefit except cowboy operators.”

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