Edited by Martin Trybus and Luca Rubini
Chapter 22: Services of General (Economic) Interest Post-Lisbon
Johan van de Gronden and Catalin Stefan Rusu 1. INTRODUCTION In a recent speech1 Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the European Commission, stated that public services (which are generally identiﬁed in the Treaties as Services of General Economic Interest – SGEIs)2 bring us countless beneﬁts and are an asset for our economy and society. They occupy a vital role in the shared values of the EU. They promote social and territorial cohesion, foster the well-being of people across the EU and make an important contribution to Europe’s economic development. The developments brought by the Lisbon Treaty, embodied in the new Protocol 263 to the Treaties, Article 36 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU4 and Article 14 TFEU recognize the essential role of public services and their diversity in the European model of society.5 Also, in its Communication – 1 Almunia, Joaquín (2011), ‘Reform of EU State aid rules on the Services of General Economic Interest’, 90th Plenary Session of the Committee of the Regions, Brussels, 12 May 2011, SPEECH/11/328. 2 According to the Commission’s opinion, the terms SGIs and SGEIs are more precise than, and preferred to, the public service concept. For a detailed reasoning on this terminological choice, see paras 19 and 20 of the 2003 Green Paper on Services of General Interest (COM(2003) 270 ﬁnal). 3 Protocol on Services of General Interest to be annexed to the Treaty on the European Union, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union...
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