Guidance

State aid: public services of general economic interest

Provides guidance on how the state aid rules effect funding for the delivery of public services of general economic interest.

Detail

Provides guidance on how the state aid rules effect funding for the delivery of public services of general economic interest.

A service of general economic interest (SGEI) is a service of an economic nature that public authorities identify as being of particular importance to citizens. They are not supplied by market forces alone, and may need public intervention.

The competition provisions of the EEC Treaty has no policy on whether members states should contract-out their public services or provide them in-house, nor on how they should be funded. Member states can monopolise some service delivery through state provision. Where there is a competitive market for services, the Treaty insists that governments can’t distort that market with subsidies unless such subsidies have approval from the European Commission.