The EU Services Directive: Gains from Further Liberalization

26 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2014

Date Written: July 2014


The EU Services Directive was adopted in 2006 to foster competition in services across Europe. However, progress in liberalizing services has fallen short of expectations due to the article 15 of the Directive, which allows countries to maintain pre-existing restrictions if judged necessary to protect the public interest. Through input output analysis, this paper finds important multiplier effects of greater efficiency services to the rest of the economy. A renewed impulse to the liberalization process could be given by enhancing the advocacy role of national competition authorities in interpreting the notion of public interest underpinning existing regulations.

Keywords: Services sector, European Economic and Monetary Union, Euro Area, Competition, Econometric models, Services sectors, Services Directive, Input-output economics, Growth theory, Competition authorities, intermediate goods, multiplier effects, regulatory barriers, national competition, intensity of competition, free competition, intermediate inputs, output growth, national law, regulatory framework, liberalizing services

JEL Classification: E32, E61, E62, H20, H50, H60, E10

Suggested Citation

Fernandez-Corugedo, Emilio and Pérez Ruiz, Esther, The EU Services Directive: Gains from Further Liberalization (July 2014). IMF Working Paper No. 14/113. Available at SSRN:

Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo (Contact Author)

Bank of England ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

Esther Pérez Ruiz

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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