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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

Wolf Sauter

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Dutch Healthcare Authority; Tilburg Law School

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, 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)

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Dutch Healthcare Authority ( email )

Postbus 3017
Utrecht, 3502 GA
Netherlands

Tilburg Law School

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

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