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Title: A critical analysis of the revised package of EU state aid rules for the assessment of public compensation for services of general economic interests (SGEIs)
Authors: Micallef, Tiziana
Keywords: Subsidies -- Law and legislation -- European Union countries
Government aid
Social service
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Services of General Economic Interests (SGEIs) are economic activities that public authorities identify as being fundamental to citizens and they would not be supplied if there was no public intervention. Examples are social services, telecommunication networks among others. State aid control accrues when these services are provided by an economic undertaking financed through public resources, thus averting any distortion of competition from taking place. Given the immense impact state aid might leave on the internal market, it is generally prohibited under EU Law because the Commission aims at creating a level playing field for undertakings. Nevertheless, some exemptions are made for the well-being and functioning of society. SGEIs have a twofold purpose; their social function is to improve the living standards of people while combating social injustices and their economic purpose is to attract investments and boost the economy. This thesis shall explore how this sector started to take shape within state aid policy of the EU. Through the Altmark judgment, the Court established four cumulative criteria which if satisfied, a measure would not classify as state aid. Following this landmark judgement and the 2004 EU enlargement, by 2005 the Commission felt the need to establish the first Package for SGEIs.Key aspects of this sector are examined in order to accentuate the fundamental functionsof public services. The problematic areas of the 2005 Package are examined, followed by an in-depth examination and comparison of the 2005 Package and the 2011 Package. The changes and innovations in the 2011 Package are laid down and critically analysed, while issues that have not been addressed adequately or not at all are also discussed. State Aid Modernisation (SAM) came about following the 2011 Package, which in turn led to the modernisation of state aid control. Through these two modernisation processes, compliance with the rules has been strengthened. Thus, the 2011 SGEI Package will be implemented more effectively by Member States. However, the granting of state aid has become harder.
Description: LL.D.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 2013

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