General policy framework, Monitoring & reporting, Economic reports

Study on people's attitudes to Services of General Economic Interest in the 15 Member States of the European Union

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The study provides a qualitative analysis of consumers perception and satisfaction with selected industries providing services of general economic interest in the 15 Member States. The results are based on in-depth interviews with three groups of consumers in each Member State. The three groups represent low to mid-income consumers, mid to high-income consumers and sensitive consumers (persons in precarious socio-economic circumstances).

The interviews produced information on consumers overall satisfaction in different network industries as well as their satisfaction with price and quality of the services provided. When possible, specific examples of factors contributing to a negative or positive view were provided. Consumers were also interviewed about their views on public service obligations. For the sectors that have been opened up to competition in recent years, consumers were asked to give their opinion on the effect of liberalisation on price and quality.

The study covers ten different sectors. The sectors electricity, fixed telephony, mobile telephony, air transport, intercity railtransport, and urban public transport are dealt with in most detail, while the sectors gas, postal services, maritime transport and water have been less investigated.

The executive summary of this report can be found in section 3 of Market Performance of Network Industries Providing Services of General Economic Interest which is an annex to the Commission Report on the Functioning of Community Product and Capital Markets (COM(2001) 736).
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Submitted to :

The Commission of the European Communities

  • Internal Market Directorate General
    B-1049 Brussels
  • The Health and Consumer Protection Directorate General
    B-1049 Brussels
  • Press and Communication Directorate General
    B-1049 Brussels

Prepared by :

74 Chemin de la Ferme des Bois
F - 78950 Gambais


This study was produced by OPTEM and represents the views of the contractor and/ or the author only. These views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the Commission and should not be relied upon as a statement of the Commission's or DG Internal Market's views. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this study, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.

See also the Consumers Affairs site

Last update: 12.02.2010