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Goods and services | Brussels, 5 February 2015

European Commission reaffirms commitment to protecting public services in trade agreements

The European Commission is aware of an alleged leak of a paper on health services in the context of the negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). However, the fact that other participants of TiSA make submissions on specific issues does not mean that these are automatically up for discussion or consideration by the EU.

The EU has never made commitments regarding publicly-funded health services or insurance portability in any of its FTAs and does not intend to do so in the future, be it in TiSA, TTIP or any other trade agreement. The European Commission would like to recall that in its trade agreements, the EU always underlines its commitment to protecting public services at all levels of government, including the local level. Any decision to deregulate, privatise or bring to the public sphere such services is entirely up to national governments and local authorities. The EU's trade agreements will not change that; TiSA will not change that. Nor will TiSA require EU governments or public health services to put anything out to private contract.

Quote by EU Trade Commisisoner Malmström:

"Recently there have been reports on an alleged leaked document from Turkey on health care services within the TiSA negotiations. I want to stress in unequivocal terms that under no circumstances, I would ever propose a trade agreement that contained provisions on portability of health insurance. I do not consider this to be a trade issue and the Commission will not compromise the high level of quality of our public health services in a trade agreement. "

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