EU PARLIAMENT: CLIMATE PACKAGE APPROVED, WORKTIME DIRECTIVE REJECTED

The European Parliament has given the go-ahead, with a large majority vote, to the climate/energy package that was outlined last week by the Council of the Heads of State and Government of the 27 member states. The European Parliament rejected instead the directive proposed by the EU Council, which included an option to extend work time up to 65 hours a week. The EU Council also meant not to include as working time the "waiting time" that, for example, doctors and nurses have to wait before a surgery. "I congratulate all the MEPs – states the Spanish MEP Alejandro Cercas -. This is a success, it is indeed a triumph for everyone, for the workers, the trade unions, the European population". Cercas regards as an "opportunity" this "sign given by Parliament to the Council, urging the latter to improve the directive and meet the workers’ interests and rights". "We must work – adds the MEP – so that work will not hinder the reconciliation of professional life with family and social life". Cercas also invited Barroso’s Commission to "be an arbiter in European issues" and not "serve the national governments".

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