David Martin and his fellow Labour MEPs voted today for the exemption of public services, protection of workers' rights and greater transparency and data protection in the EU Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
The European Parliament was voting on a resolution setting out a series of demands from MEPs to the European Commission, which is negotiating TiSA on behalf of EU national governments. These include the full exclusion of all public services; strong safeguards for workers; a new binding clause to guarantee data privacy; and greater transparency.
TiSA is currently being negotiated between 23 World Trade Organisation (WTO) parties, including the EU. It is intended as a tool to reform the rules surrounding global trade in services, which have been in force since 1995 through the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
David Martin MEP, Socialists and Democrats Group spokesperson on international trade, said:
"The trade in services is a significant and growing part of the EU economy and the current rules are grossly outdated. Creating a level playing field and opening global markets to European service providers is long overdue and crucial to the protection and promotion of jobs in the European Union.
"In no EU country are jobs so linked to the services sector as in the UK - more than half the UK workforce are employed in this field. The Trade in Services Agreement is an opportunity to boost our economy and to update trade rules for the benefit of all.
“Positive reform must ensure the protection of public services, workers’ rights and the ability of governments’ right to regulate.
"Preventing social dumping and ensuring strict data protection is also vital as e-commerce grows, and we will continue to work for this."