Services of General Economic Interest and Universal Service in EU Law

TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2008-017

European Law Review, No. 2, 2008

37 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008 Last revised: 29 Aug 2008

See all articles by Wolf Sauter

Wolf Sauter

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Law; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM)

Date Written: May 1, 2008

Abstract

Abstract: Services of general economic interest (SGEI) are an EU legal category that provides an exception to the competition rules for the proportionate pursuit of legitimate public interest goals by private undertakings. While remaining the subject of intense debate at EU level, SGEI have played an important role in liberalising the network industries and are likely to play a similar role elsewhere in future. This paper covers recent developments concerning SGEI, discusses universal service obligations as the key content of SGEI and proposes a structured test for applying SGEI in a proportional manner, based on the concept of market failure.

Keywords: Competition law; EC law; Proportionality; Public interest; Public services; Single Market; State aid; Supply of services; Undertakings

Suggested Citation

Sauter, Wolf and Sauter, Wolf, Services of General Economic Interest and Universal Service in EU Law (May 1, 2008). TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2008-017, European Law Review, No. 2, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1136105

Wolf Sauter (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Netherlands

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ( email )

PO Box 16326
2500 BH The Hague
Netherlands

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