Michel Delebarre, President of the European Union - Committee of the Regions
Seminar: Promoting SGIs for all – Which European legal framework?
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
First of all, I would like to congratulate the CELSIG for successfully bringing such a wide range of participants together at this event, representing the diversity of players working in the field of services of general interest. I will not introduce everybody one by one since, after my speech, Pierre Bauby from the CELSIG secretariat will give an overview of the history and development of the services of general interest dossier; I will take the liberty of anticipating one of his likely conclusions by saying that we all made our introductions some years ago!
Nonetheless, I can say that today’s event is attended by representatives of the European institutions (European Parliament, Commission, Council, Committee of the Regions, European Economic and Social Committee), the European social partners, regional associations and civil society.
I, for my part, will give my own « snapshot » of the current situation regarding services of general interest, and shall then consider some key points relating to the short and medium term challenges that we face.
What is the state of play?
Since the European Parliament’s 2001 report (the first to show support for the principle of a framework directive), the Commission’s procrastination in its White paper on SGIs of May 2004, the Altmark judgment and the Monti-Kroes package have spurred SGI players to go beyond simply calling for a framework directive (which could seem more ideological than pragmatic), and to formulate detailed, legally sound, operational text proposals.