The Parliament has adopted, with the votes of its three largest groups, the much-disputed Services Directive, paving the way for the its entry into force in early 2010. It voted against all amendments to a summer 2006 Council compromise.

The Parliament's three largest groups - the EPP-DE (Conservatives), PSE (Social Democrats) and ALDE (Liberals) had not tabled any amendments. 

Identical amendments of the GUE/NGL (Left) and UEN (Right) aiming at rejecting the Common Position were voted down by 405 to 105 votes (12 abstentions). 

The GUE/NGL groups and the French delegation within the PSE group were the only ones to vote unanimously for the rejection of the Common Position, the UEN voted against its own amendment. 

No PPE-ED, no ALDE and no non-French PSE MEP voted to reject the Common Position. 

Due to the rules of procedure for second-reading votes in Parliament, the proposal was approved without a final vote. 

Prior to the vote, Commissioner Charlie McCreevy addressed in the Parliament's plenary what the rapporteur, Evelyne Gebhardt (PSE, Germany) regards as the key questions:

  • Assistance to member states  for the proper implementation  of the Services Directive. "Analyses and orientations" given by the European Commission will neither provide legally binding interpretation nor amend the provisions of the Services Directive.  
  • The need to consider additional further harmonisation within the field of services' sector. 
  • On the  following existing legal provision, the Commissioner stated globally that the Directive does not affect national law and practices already in place: 

    • Labour law; 
    • criminal law, and;
    • social services