Presidence belge de lunion europeenne

Program of the 3rd SSIG Forum

The 3rd Forum
26 & 27 October 2010, Brussels
on Social Services of General Interest

15 recommandations adressed to the European Parliament the Council and the Commission

The 3rd Forum on social services of general interest (SSGI) took place on 26 and 27 October 2010 in Brussels. Organized by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Forum brought together more than 300 participants representing various European institutions, the Member States and all stakeholders. Particular note should be taken of the presence, alongside that of Mrs. Laurette ONKELINX, Deputy Prime Minister and Belgian Minister of Social Affairs, of three members of the European Commission, Mr. Laszlo ANDOR, Commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion, Mr. Joaquin ALMUNIA, Commissioner for competition, and Mr. Michel BARNIER (represented), Commissioner for the internal market and services, as well as several European MPs including Mrs. Pervenche BERES, President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee at the European Parliament, Mrs. Francoise CASTEX, President of the Public Services Intergroup, Mr. Marc TARABELLA, co-president of the Social Economy Intergroup and Mr. Proinsias DE ROSSA, rapporteur on the future of SSGI in Europe. The presence and the active participation of the following Member of the European Parliament have to be mentioned: Mr. Pascal CANFIN, Mr. Damien ABAD, Mrs. Marie-Christine VERGIAT, Mr. Peter SIMON, Mr. Frank ENGEL, Mrs. Heide RUHLE.

SSGI Internal Market

Social services are not “typical” market. Some of them are Serviecs of general economic interest (SGEI), while others are Services of general non-economic interest (SGNEI). SGEI fall within the scope of the rules of the Treaty on the freedom of establishment and freedom to provide servics. The boundary between SGEI ans SGNEI is not always clear. In any case these services are all SGI: services of general interest whose social mission must not be compromised.

Where social services are concerned, fundamental rights are at stake: i.e. the right of access to placement services, the right of access to social security benefits and social services, the right of access to preventive health care and to medical treatment, the right of access to services of general economic interest.

At the beginning of the 3rd forum, the question is: how can these social services be dealt with adequately under the rules of the internal market, so that the social mission can be fully ensured? Ultimately, technical issues relating to entrustment, prior authorization or approval show the determination of the States, the social actors and the Union to enact a social policy.

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