- observes that it is necessary to reinforce health and social services across the EU considering the progressive ageing of the population and the increasing number of disabled and disadvantaged people requiring appropriate assistance. Such a situation requires an increase in long-term care and support sustained by relevant public investments, businesses and civil society in order to achieve social innovation and to promote an adequate response to the current challenges;
- deems that the effort to ensure adequate social and health services will have to be supported with suitable financial resources, deployed in adequate public investments, as well as with specific State aid targeted at such sectors. The current State aid rules, approved in 2012, would therefore need to be adapted to ensure fair competition and the achieving of general interest objectives;
- stresses that the current ceiling of de minimis aid for the SGEIS sector set forth by Regulation No 360/2012, amounting to EUR 500 000 over three financial years, should certainly be increased, in particular with regard to social and health services, considering the past and future impact of inflation and also the particular role played by these services in favour of the weakest parts of the population and social cohesion;
- with regard to the concept of "reasonable profit margin", observes that it would be useful if the Commission could identify criteria and indicators able to correlate the profit margin to be allowed in favour of economic operators in line with their ability to pursue purposes of general interest, thereby creating positive social impacts.
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