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PERC-EPSU meeting on the development of quality public services in Eastern Partnership countries, Russia and Central Asia in Brussels

21 December 2012: The PERC in cooperation with European Federation of Public Service Unions has organized two-day meeting on the development of quality public services in Eastern Partnership countries, Russia and Central Asia in Brussels, 19 and 20 of December. The meeting involved trade union leaders and specialists from ITUC-PERC affiliated and associated organisations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. The meeting was supported by the Lo-TCO secretariat.

Richard Pond from EPSU introduced the implications of liberalization and privatization or public sector, in particular, deterioration of working conditions as well as quality of services. That led many municipalities in Europe to stop outsourcing and sub-contracting delivery of public services to private companies. Sabin Trier from European Transport Federation presented different models of implementation of public transport services – liberalized and outsourced, public-private partnerships and underlined particular challenge in CEE countries, where transport companies are often inefficient and financially unstable.

David Hall from the PSI research unit introduced the analysis about the role public services and its historical trends, public services and equality, their efficiency and effectiveness, and implications of the austerity measures in Europe.

Pierre Hubbard, ITUC and TUAC, made a presentation on the role of taxation in sustainable growth, evolution of fiscal systems and the needs to make fair taxation systems to reduce income inequalities in the societies. Professor Atanas Vladikov presented the taxation system of Bulgaria and in particular, negative implications of the installment of a flat tax system. Sergey Kondriuk of the FPU-Ukraine, explained the initiative of the FPU to campaign for adoption of the ILO standard on fair taxation.

During the second day the Grigor Gradev introduced the interrelations between shadow economy, corruption and state capture, which have become the pattern of business and political operations in many of CEE societies. Professor Krastyo Petkov and Janis Kayaks presented the situation in Bulgaria and Latvia respectively and the worsening trends linked with implication of the economic crisis and austerity measures.

Penny Clark of EPSU introduced the ILO convention 94 on public contracts and the need to campaign for its ratification in the region, where only Armenia has done so. Frederique Rychener of the DG Employment introduced the dimension of Eastern Partnership and the EU relations with the respective countries.

The PERC will follow up the conference with several specific initiatives in 2013.

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this article has been tagged

Central and Eastern Europe , New Independent States , Informal economy, shadow economy , Economic reforms , Liberalization , ILO , Sustainable economic growth policies , Tackling inequalities , Democracy and Social Dialog , IFIs , corruption , Eastern Partnership policies , fiscal policies , OECD , Relations with international financial institutions
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