Stop the EU’s Services Notification Procedure – cities need democratic space to protect the interests of citizens!

Patrice Leclerc

We, representatives of European cities, civil society groups and trade unions, want to express our deep concern about the proposed Services Notification Procedure. Instead of reporting afterwards, new local rules and laws would in the future have to be notified in advance and receive prior approval from the European Commission.


As stated in a September 2018 resolution by the city council of Amsterdam, the proposed notification procedure creates unnecessary delays and “seriously harms the autonomy of local governments and therefore poses a threat to the local democracy.” The proposal would create major new obstacles for progressive municipal policies, such as much needed
measures to protect affordable housing.

The proposed procedure is disproportional and at odds with the subsidiarity principle as well as the obligation of the EU to respect regional and local self-government, as outlined in the Lisbon Treaty.

Cities have a crucial role to play in solving Europe’s social and environmental problems and in deepening democracy with active citizens’ engagement. The proposed Services Notification Procedure and its attempts to restrict the democratic space of municipalities is
therefore completely unacceptable.

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