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Consumers and services of general interest: Is EC consumer law the future?


  • Peter Rott



Services of general interest, such as telecommunications services, postal services, and the supply of electricity and gas have received much attention over the last decade. Welfare-oriented public service models have come under the pressure of market-oriented approaches. Whilst access to services of general interest is frequently regarded as an important element of citizenship in the EC, recent consumer law programmes have placed them into the context of consumer law. This article discusses the implications that a consumer law approach could have on services of general interest. It concludes that consumer law cannot deal with services of general interest in a comprehensive manner but that their citizenship dimension requires special instruments that safeguard access to services of general interest where market failure is predictable. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Rott, 2007. "Consumers and services of general interest: Is EC consumer law the future?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 49-60, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:30:y:2007:i:1:p:49-60
    DOI: 10.1007/s10603-006-9024-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Norbert Reich, 2008. "Christian Twigg-Flesner: The Europeanisation of Contract Law—Current Controversies in Law," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 501-503, December.
    2. Marija Bartl, 2010. "The Affordability of Energy: How Much Protection for the Vulnerable Consumers?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 225-245, September.
    3. Peter Cartwright, 2015. "Understanding and Protecting Vulnerable Financial Consumers," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 119-138, June.
    4. Massimo Florio, 2014. "Energy Reforms and Consumer Prices in the EU over twenty Years," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    5. Drago Papler & Štefan Bojnec, 2015. "Competitiveness and Factors of Delivery of Electricity," Faculty of Management Koper Monograph Series, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, number 978-961-266-188-5, January.
    6. Peter A. Groothuis & Tanga McDaniel Mohr, 2014. "Do Consumers Want Smart Meters? Incentives or Inertia: Evidence from North Carolina and Lessons for Policy," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).


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