On 29 May 2006, the Competitiveness Council proposes a third version meant to be a compromise between the Parliament version and the Commission one (click here to read the text). The new version further reduces the number of social services that will be scoped out from the directive, and the type of providers allowed to be scoped out. It confirms a growing tendency to provide exceptions to internal market regulations only to charities, thus failing to consider cooperatives as specific, community based enterprises. In order to read CECOP's observations on the new text, click here.

The Competiveness Council text will now probably be approved by the European Council (meeting of heads of state) on 15 June or at a further meeting. Even so, lobbying on your national side to your governments is useful. If approved, the text will be sent in second reading to the European parliament, which can either approve the Council text, or propose further amendments.

The CECOP observations go in the sense of re-amending the text according to the original European Parliament's version. The chance of this happening has increased by the European socialists' initiative yesterday to formally request the Commission to publish a Directive on Services of General Interest, which would go in the same direction as the CECOP's observations, and on which we request your reactions.