Government calls on EU to agree ‘protectionism’ for employee-ownerships and mutuals

Third Sector Online has an interesting and potentially important story amongst its coverage today.

Apparently (I won’t pretend I already knew this!) there has been an EU Green Paper on modernising EU procurement rules. The government has responded to this and interestingly is calling for the EU to agree a kind of ‘protectionism’ for employee-owned and mutual enterprises that are delivering public services, arguing that “contracts could be awarded directly for a period of, for instance, three years, to employee led organisations/mutuals, to enable employees to gain experience of running public services prior to full and open competition”.

It seems somewhat unexpected — to me, anyhow — that the coalition government would be arguing for what is after all market protectionism, although it’s abundantly evident that such a move would be politically necessary if the government’s plans for externalising public services are to succeed.



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