Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Local and regional governments as service providers

Services of general interest - 21.11.2005

Service directive: CEMR calls on MEPs to exempt SGEIS from the scope of the directive
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) urges the members of the European Parliament's Internal market and consumers protection committee to take into considerations its concerns on the draft directive on services. The Internal market and consumers protection committee will vote on the draft directive on Monday 21 November 2005.
CEMR has four main concerns regarding the draft regulation regarding:
- services of general economic interest. CEMR members believe that the services directive might have a negative impact on services of general economic interest (SGEIs). Therefore, they believe SGEIs should be exempted from the scope of the directive or should be excluded from services to which the country of origin principle applies;
- the prohibited requirements (art. 14). CEMR has concerns about a list of requirements that Member States should not be allowed to impose on service providers, e.g. asking for some kind of financial guarantee from potential contractors. This is especially important in relation to SGIs where continuity of service and other public interest issues justify the need for a financial guarantee;
- the temporary character of the services delivered (art.16). Further clarification is needed on the distinction between the permanent and temporary services provided. CEMR believes that Member States should ensure that providers of services, whose relevant activities in a country are of a temporary nature, are subject only to the national provisions of their Member State of origin, which fall within the coordinated field;
- the relationship between the draft directive and art. 50 of the EC Treaty. Services under this directive should be specifically defined in the proper spirit of art. 50 EC Treaty as follows: service means any self-employed economy activity, consisting in the provision of a service of an industrial or commercial character
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