The EuroManif demonstration in Strasbourg yesterday saw up to 30,000 trade unionists vent fears that the proposed Services Directive could undermine European jobs and social standards.
The European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) was represented by teachers from 15 member states including Poland, Hungary and the UK. The ETUCE is calling for education to be excluded from the bill and urge the European Commission to work towards high quality public education. ETUCE General Secretary Martin Rømer, who met with MEPs ahead of the demonstration, said: “We strongly call on governments across the EU to live up to their responsibilities to fund and provide education of high quality and with equal access for all citizens. The inclusion of education in the Services Directive would indeed be a step in the wrong direction.” The draft Directive is currently being examined in the Council and the European Parliament, and a vote will be held on 16 February 2006.