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Local and regional governments as employers

Public services - 05.04.2003

Local governments adopt resolution on future of services of general interest - Leipzig, 4 April 2003
Local and regional governments met in Leipzig (Germany) on 3 and 4 April to discuss the future of services of general interest provided at local and regional level. The event was the occasion for the adoption of a local government resolution to the European institutions and the European Convention on this issue.
In it, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Eurocities and the German association of cities and towns (Deutscher Staetdetag) state that Services of General Interest (SGI) are most important for local and regional governments but are not part of the EC Treaty. They assert that, 'in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, the choice as to the form of provision for local and regional SGI (”¦) is best made at local and regional level".

The twelve-point resolution calls among other things:

· For state aid rules not to be applied to compensation offered by local and regional government for the provision of SGI where the amount is reasonably commensurate with the purpose of the assistance

· On the Convention on the future of Europe and the next Inter-Governmental Conference to insure that the constitutional Treaty includes the promotion of high quality services as one of the objectives of the Union.

· Upon the European Institutions not to proceed with the compulsory application of internal market and competition rules to local and regional public transport, nor to extend European-wide internal market and competition proposals to other local and regional SGI
. For the final version of the Green paper on SGI to reflect these concerns.
The two-day conference was jointly organised by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), EUROCITIES, the German association of cities and towns (Deutscher Staetdetag) and the European confederation of public enterprises (CEEP).
Over 140 participants attended it including :
- Wolfgang Tiefensee, Mayor of Leipzig and president of EUROCITIES
- Jeremy Smith, secretary general of CEMR
- Philippe Herzog, member of the European Parliament
- Rainer Plassmann, secretary general of CEEP
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