Chapter 3: Services of General Interest in a Competitive Multinational Space
Philippe Herzog INTRODUCTION There is broad universal consensus that Europe should develop and provide public goods. However, the context in which Europe must create and provide such goods is far from favourable. It is shaped by economic and ﬁnancial globalization, the information technology revolution and a crisis within the political system. Indeed, the ability of the European political system to deﬁne and organize public goods has become very problematic. Consequently, the fundamental question of the creation and provision of public goods in a multinational, competitive space is as urgent as it is evident. A secular European politics adapted to its epoch must be able to show what the version of greatness is, as far as that politics is speciﬁcally concerned, that it has in mind. (Sloterdijk, 2003) If a Europe of public goods is to come into being, this will require more than a series of pacts limited to competitiveness and ﬁscal and regulatory competition. Values of sharing and interactivity must become common projects. Fundamental rights must be acknowledged, which unite players in the ﬁeld around multinational services of general interest (SGIs). European regulation of cross-border networks must be established. The role of information – revolutionized by technology – in developing interactively the capacities of Europe’s population must be grasped. Yet these imperatives are certainly incompatible with both the current capitalist and state hold on information systems and the closed nature of educational systems within the European Union. In this chapter, we explore the practical and philosophical implications of European...
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