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