Opinion Factsheet  

REFORM OF THE EU STATE AID RULES ON SERVICES OF GENERAL ECONOMIC INTEREST

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Opinion Number: CDR 150/2011
Rapporteur: LAMBERTZ Karl-Heinz
Commission: ECOS-V
Status: Adopted
Date: 01/07/2011
 
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



 reiterates that the legislative package on State aid in the form of public service compensation should be revised in strict compliance with the principle of subsidiarity and with a view to ensuring freedom of choice and of administration for local and regional authorities as regards methods of organising, funding and carrying out their public service prerogatives;

 underlines that, in order to implement the wide discretion to which regional and local authorities are entitled under the Lisbon Treaty, a legal basis of secondary legislation is needed, which – on the basis of a set of definitions – would ensure the utmost flexibility in the application of competition rules to services of general economic interest (SGEI);

 opposes the introduction by the Commission of any requirement to assess economic efficiency in SGEI compensation;

 feels that objective criteria should also be taken into consideration which in principle offset any risk of affecting intra-Community trade such as the limited territorial remit of certain operators governed by authorisation schemes, the limited functional scope of other public or private operators set up specifically to provide a particular public service in a given area and not carrying out any commercial activity on the market, and the not-for-profit nature of certain social undertakings;

 suggests to the Commission that the de minimis ceiling should be raised to EUR 800 000 a year specifically for public service compensation. This would exclude from the scope of State aid control all local public services relying on the local voluntary sector and local social micro-enterprises.