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Network industries

The horizontal evaluations of the performance of network industries providing services of general economic interest are a response to the European Council’s request made in the declaration on services of general interest attached to the Nice European Council conclusions.

In its report to the Laeken European Council of October 2001, the Commission defined a strategy for the efficient evaluation of the performance of services of general interest based on:

  • the reinforcement of sectoral reporting,
  • the annual horizontal evaluation of these services in the framework of the Cardiff process and,
  • the benchmarking of the effectiveness of measures taken in the Member States to attain adequate performance of services of general interest in areas not covered by sectoral reporting or the annual horizontal evaluation.

The horizontal evaluations of the performance of network industries providing services of general economic interest are a response to the European Council’s request made in the declaration on services of general interest attached to the Nice European Council conclusions.

Evaluating network industries providing services of general interest is justified by the fact that these sectors are currently undergoing important structural reforms due to regulatory, technological, social and economic changes.

Furthermore, network industries providing these services have a significant impact on competitiveness as they account for a large part of EU GDP and employment and the services they offer represent a sizeable input for the European economy.

There is a greater need for industries providing services of general interest to be the subject of horizontal evaluation than for other services having also a key impact on competitiveness because these services meet important social and public policy objectives. In particular, these services can contribute to strengthen social and geographic cohesion, because market outcomes do not or may not provide the socially desirable level of service provision. It is thus necessary to evaluate the performance of these sectors, to ensure that the current structural changes do not prevent those social and public policy objectives being attained.

Horizontal evaluations of the performance of network industries providing services of general interest

The horizontal evaluations aim at providing inputs for informed and objective discussion on the evolution of services of general interest.

Communication on the methodology COM(2002)331 final. 18 June 2002

Evaluation of the Methodology used to assess the performance of the network industries providing services of general economic interest (SGEI) - external evaluation report

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