Brief blog

Services of general interest: the Commission fails!

(B2) The long-awaited, long-heralded communication from the European Commission on services of general interest (SGI) ultimately leaves a bitter taste. The Barroso Commission has in fact decided to close the debate on the drafting of a framework directive on the subject as well as on social services. At least for now. This option can be perfectly justified, especially since the Commission does not intend to abandon its duty of clarification and since the entry into force of the protocol, included in the future European Treaty, could change the situation. But why didn't you have the courage to explain it? Why also have presented so discreetly the two "working documents" annexed to the communication? Certainly, these would have deserved a spotlight, a more political or more legal name, such as “Interpretative Communication” or “Guidelines”. Because that's what it's all about: interpreting the rules of the internal market or competition, and framing the action of SGIs. Far from ending the ideological debate, the Commission thus lends itself to the controversy, in a clumsy way, by giving the impression to the citizens that as long as it is a question of profitable services or liberalization, Europe is active and voluble , and that when it comes to social and health services, discretion remains in order…


(communication and documents here)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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