Secret negotiations threaten public services in 50 countries

(Joint EPSU/PSI Press release, 28 April 2014) Public sector workers and users of public services in countries around the world are protesting against the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) secret negotiations resuming today in Geneva, Switzerland. Members of civil society are demanding the release of more information on this sweeping trade deal, and assurance that it will not affect provision of any public services. They will also deliver to government leaders a protest letter signed by over 350 organisations from over 115 countries.

A new study looking inside these secret negotiations has found that the agreement could hinder future governments from delivering vital public services. In “TISA versus Public Services,” researchers highlight how the Trade in Services Agreement would lock in existing and future privatisation of public services.

In Geneva today, Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of Public Services International (PSI), said: “The aim of public services should not be to make profit for large multinational corporations. Ensuring that failed privatisations can never be reversed is free market ideology gone mad.

In Brussels, Jan Willem Goudriaan, Deputy General Secretary of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), said: “This agreement will bind future governments, regardless of who wins elections and what the courts say. If the European Commission has nothing to hide they must immediately release full details of these negotiations. Trade agreements must not be allowed to impose a restrictive framework on public services, one which prevents all countries – developing and developed alike – from protecting existing services, developing new ones and/or expanding provision. We see from the European political party manifestos that concerns about trade and public services are not yet given the space they deserve – the PSI study is very much needed.

The report was written by Scott Sinclair, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood, Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University.

- Download the “TISA versus Public Services” report

Please find attached below an overview of political party on trade and public services.

- For the EPSU background note ‘trade and public services'

For more information contact: Pablo Sanchez,, 0032 474 62 66 33

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