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Unprecedented EU Commission power grab fails as Services Directive reform collapses

European Commission plans to reform the EU Services Directive have quietly collapsed. With strong disagreements on the proposal in the Council ahead of last week’s final European Parliament plenary session, there is no time left to move the reform ahead in this legislature. Whether a new Commission will revive the proposal is questionable, given the strong civil society backlash against a core element of the proposal,the so-called Services Notification Procedure.

Corporate Europe Observatory’s researcher and campaigner Olivier Hoedeman commented:

“The collapse of the reform is really good news for local democracy in Europe. Its centrepiece was an EU Commission veto right over any decisions affecting the services sector - from the city level all the way up to the national level. Hundreds of civil society organisations, municipal and regional parties as well as mayors were right to fight this unprecedented power grab by the Commission.

“Municipalities need democratic space to protect the interests of their citizens. We strongly recommend the incoming EU Commission heed the lessons of this failed attempt to further increase its decision-making powers at the expense of local democracy.”

Notes to Editors


Olivier Hoedeman,,+32 (0) 289 30930

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