Update on Working Time directive at European Level - 9/2/2005

1. Council of Ministers

There is strong disagreement between countries on the removal of the opt out - making this improbable in the near future.

2. European commission
Luxembourg presidency will be favouring the removal of the opt out however by phasing it out by 2010.
It is felt if this does not happen, the next presidency ie the British will not support this

3. European Parliament.
Parliament has already expressed itself in favour of the removal of the opt out.

Time table on the proposed phasing out of the opt out
The following timetable is set:
- 15-16 of March: discussion of the report
- 20 of April: adoption of the report vote in the Committee
- 12-13 May: vote at the Plenary end of the first reading

4. European Trade UNions , and European Medical Associations

all are strongly lobbying for the removal of the right to opt out.
(MAM and CMTU and GWU do not support this position)

Martin Balzan

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