Women for Europe would like to clear up yet another mis-representation about the Lisbon Treaty. Many no campaigners are saying that the Lisbon Treaty will lead to privatisation of our essential public services. Here's why this will not happen...
The Lisbon Treaty will provide better safeguards for public services in the following ways:
- Firstly the EU has no competence over national areas such as Health and Education.
- The Lisbon Treaty introduces a new legal base (Art. 14) for the adoption of legislation to better protect public services by the European Parliament and by the Ministers of member states.
- The Lisbon Treaty includes a protocol (no. 26) which sets out the principles that would govern such legislation - namely the role of the state in providing public services, the diversity of public services that will reflect different cultural, geographical or social situations, and the importance of universal access, safety, quality and user rights
- Even in the absence of legislation spelling out the obligations of public service providers, it is clear that the objectives of the European Union as set out by the Lisbon Treaty, such as combating social exclusion and discrimination, promoting social justice and protection, eqiuality between men and women, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of children, cannot be achieved in the absence of universal public services. These rights are consolidated by the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which will become law if the Lisbon Treaty is passed.
- The Solemn Declaration on Worker's Rights and Social Policy, as made by the other EU countries this year, explicitly states that member states (not the EU) have the authority to organise their own public services, and that every member state has a veto when it comes to international trade agreements that might affect social, education or health services.