The access to services of general economic interest as Human right

Conference proceedings article

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Author list: Mimoso M J, Anjos M R
Publication year: 2019
Start page: 127
End page: 133
Number of pages: 7
ISBN: 1849-7535
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


The concept of services of general economic interest (SGEI) was enshrined in the Treaty of Rome in Article 90 (2) of its original version. It remained unchanged until the current version introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon. The services that public authorities of the EU member countries classify as being of general interest are, therefore, subject to specific public service obligations. They can be provided either by the state or by the private sector. The article 106 (2) TUE shows the importance of SGEI's by preserving the possibility of subtracting them from the principle of free competition which underlies the entire economic law of the EU. These are very profitable, monopolistic or oligopolistic economic activities, with all the resulting risks. We are talking about electricity, gas, water, telecommunications, transport, postal services, among others. The importance of access to these SGEI's led to the concept of universal service, it means that the goods and services they produce are essential to citizens life and social welfare (general interest), and, therefore, they are very important to the accomplishment of human rights and safeguard the survival and dignity of citizens. It is in this context that the principle of banning social setbacks Is particularly important. This study intends to reflect about the fundamental right of access to the services of general economic interest as an efective human right.


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Last updated on 2019-10-08 at 00:30