European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

EFFAT joins Civil society groups and forms ‘Better Regulation’ Watchdog to protect citizen, worker and consumer rights

18/05/2015
For immediate release: Monday 18 May 2015
 
Brussels, 18 May 2015 – More than 50 civil society organisations have joined forces to create the ‘Better Regulation Watchdog’ – a network to protect citizens’, workers’ and consumers’ rights. The network was launched today in Brussels, one day ahead of the expected announcement of the European Commission’s so-called ‘Better Regulation’ reforms. 
 
The network of organisations from around Europe is concerned that the ‘Better Regulation’ agenda aims to weaken or undermine essential regulations and subordinate the public good to corporate interests.
 
The creation of the network is a response to the European Commission’s attempts to remove what it deems regulatory burdens under the ‘Better Regulation’ initiative. Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans is expected to unveil a package of measures in support of this initiative tomorrow. 
 
The network comprises a wide range of public interest groups including consumer, environmental, development, financial, social, and public health organisations and trade unions, and represents tens of millions of European citizens. The members are united by a desire to build an inclusive and competitive Europe founded on economic, social and environmental sustainability. 
 
The network will examine actions taken under the Better Regulation initiative to identify possible risks to existing and future social, labour, environmental, consumer, financial regulation and public health standards. It will then inform civil society, media and decision makers of these risks by organising public debates, promoting research, and through joint campaigning and advocacy work.
 
Monique Goyens of BEUC – the European Consumer Organisation said: "We observe a lack of willingness from the new European Commission to take the measures necessary to protect consumers from unhealthy food, dangerous chemicals in consumer products or to provide for better labelling. Several initiatives have been delayed or are not being pursued anymore. The Better Regulation Watchdog network which unites civil society interest groups from various sectors is a clear signal to the European Commission not to jeopardise legislation protecting public interests."
 
Christophe Nijdam, secretary general of Finance Watch said: “Growth and jobs need financial stability. The completion of a solid regulatory framework for the financial sector is one of the "big things" that Europe should focus on. As a member of this network we will watch the outputs of the Better Regulation initiative closely.”
 
Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: “What the European Commission presents as a ‘better regulation’ agenda is in reality all about deregulation. In response to strong business lobbying, the Commission is planning to weaken, delay and scrap environmental standards.”
 
Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa said: “The idea to create the Better Regulation Watchdog was formed in a conversation between a small group of people. Now we are over 50 organisations! Together we will share intel, watch the Commission, and united react to safeguard the interests of workers, civil society and consumers.”
 
ENDS
 
 
For more information please contact the following ‘Better Regulation Watchdog’ steering group member organisations:
 
BEUC: Ursula Pachl, +32 2 743 15 91, upa@beuc.eu or Johannes Kleis, +32 2 743 15 90, jkl@beuc.eu
Finance Watch: Joost Mulder, +32 484 54 27 11, joost.mulder@finance-watch.org
Friends of the Earth Europe:  Paul de Clerck, +32 494 38 09 59, paul.declerck@foeeurope.org
ÖGB: David Hafner, +32 2 230 74  63, david.hafner@oegb-eu.at 
UNI Europa: Christina J. Colclough, +32 471 93 67 51, christina.colclough@uniglobalunion.org
 
 
NOTES:
 
The founding statement of the Better Regulation Watchdog and the full list of members can be found here: http://www.betterregwatch.eu/BRWN_Founding_Statement_and_Members.pdf
 

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.