Evaluating EU Policies on Public Services: A Citizens' Perspective
Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Vol. 81, No. 2, 2010
42 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2010 Last revised: 18 May 2010
Date Written: April 29, 2010
This article evaluates EU policies on public services – particularly public network services – from the citizens' point of view. It is first argued that citizens' perceptions are important because the provision of fundamental services is at stake and because they constitute the infrastructure necessary for social and economic development. Citizens' 'voice' can, therefore, be known, analyzed and used in the design of improved policy on public services along with other indicators. Changing EU policy on public services is synthesized and classified into two main phases in section two. Citizen satisfaction with public services as revealed through surveys from 1997 to 2007 is explored in the third section. In the discussion, the prospects for EU policy on public services are considered and, it is argued that, from the perspectives of subsidiarity and proportionality, policy towards strengthening the common market is being increasingly uploaded to the supranational level in the form of directives, whilst cohesion and redistribution policies are being downloaded to the national level or dealt with at the supranational level by 'soft' instruments.
Keywords: public services, utilities, consumer satisfaction, European Union, citizens
JEL Classification: L9, H41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation