Social Policy

Health: the return to the Bolkestein directive?

(B2) Pataquès in the European Parliament. To everyone's surprise, on May 8 in the parliamentary committee on the internal market, a majority of deputies – liberal democrats, Christian democrats, sovereignists – asked to “ the Commission to submit to Parliament a proposal to reintroduce health services into the (Services) Directive and a proposal to codify the case law of the Court of Justice of the EC on patients' rights ».

This amendment to was voted by 24 votes for, 18 against. And the final report, with the amendments, was then approved by 20 votes for (PPE-DE, ALDE, UEN), against 18 (Greens, Gue, PSE, the rapporteur even voting against her own report) and 2 abstentions (the French UMP Jacques Toubon and Belgian CD&V Marianne Thyssen).

We arrive at an epic situation where the European Parliament one day votes to exclude health from the Services directive and the next day votes the opposite.

The UDF votes with the liberals. At the French political level, if the UMP Jacques Toubon generally voted with the socialists, his final abstention allowed the report to pass. While a vote against (combined with that of Me Thyssen) canceled any report. As for the UDF, Janelly Fourtou, she wisely aligned her votes with her neighbor at the table, the Dutch liberal Manders, and voted almost all the amendments without firing a shot.

This vote is only a parliamentary committee vote. It will be up to the plenary of the European Parliament to decide (normally on May 24). And it is only an initiative report (without legislative value). But at the political and citizen level, it is a bad sign. It maintains confusion. It also does not allow Parliament to display a clear and clear position to the Commission – which was the initial objective.

The objective of the rapporteur, the French socialist Bernadette Vergnaud, supported by part of the PPE-DE, to arrive at a directive allowing the flow of patients and professionals to be regulated, and to send a clear message to the Commission. therefore failed. at least for now.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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