EAPN actively campaigned against the Services Directive since its inception, (known as the Bolkestein Directive) on three key areas:
- To get Services of General Interest excluded from the Directive.
- To get the specificity of social and health services recognized and excluded.
- To get the “country of origin” principle abolished, which could have led to social dumping.
In 2006, EAPN and the Social Platform won a partial victory with many of these elements in the final version of the Directive in December 2006, thanks to the strong role played by the European Parliament.
However current developments raise little hope of further gains, with the news that the Commission is proposing no further action on Services of General Interest, beyond the establishment of a Protocol in the new Reform Treaty, and the forthcoming publication of a Communication on a strategy on social services which raises little possibility of a strengthened EU framework.