On the 3 February 2016, the European Parliament concluded the recommendation addressed to the European Commission in respect of the on-going negotiations of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) between countries representing almost 70% of global trade in services. TiSA is being negotiated by 23 countries, which are aiming at reducing trade barriers for services.
Reducing trade barriers for service can contribute to the growth of many European companies, as they will receive access to many new markets. On the other hand, it means that they will have to face a new challenge and compete with service providers from other countries who could rely on lower labor cost and standards in countries of their origin.
The European Parliament requested the European Commission, which is responsible for the on-going trade negotiations, to reflect in its position the societal concerns brought to the table by many NGOs and entrepreneurs. First and foremost, the Parliament requested the Commission to base the TiSA deal on the principle of reciprocity. Moreover, the European Parliament highlighted that the TiSA deal should not pose any risk to European standards. In addition, the European Parliament supports the view that TiSA should not cover at all any of public services, such as education, health, social services, social security systems, and audiovisual services.