11 December 2010
Application of the services directive: Balance sheet , challenges and prospects
The application of the framework agreement was the subject of a meeting in the presence of Evelyne Gebhardt, rapporter to the European Parliament on this issue for many years, and Maria Martin-Prat for DG Internal Market. A great majority of the Member States has already adopted modalities for ‘horizontal’ application, and most of them have also brought in modifications to specific regulations. Some countries have opted for vertical (sector by sector) transposition. Only the "social services relating to social housing, assistance to children, families and persons in situations of temporary or permanent need, which are provided by the state or by service providers mandated by the sate or charities recognised as such by the state” (article 2.2 j) are without the scope of the Directive. The exact scope of the above exception in regard to certain social services, under the Services Directive must be specified. In a more general manner, the special features of SSGI operators need to be taken into account by the rules of the internal market and of the Services Directive in particular.
The Intergroup requests clarification of the notion of mandating. The rules surrounding mandating must be easy to apply by the organizing authorities. The Intergroup issues the reminder that the social services were excluded by reason of their special features, and that legal certainty is essential in this field.