The permanent study group on Services of General Interest aims to contribute to Europe's citizens access to high-quality and affordable SGIs, which are a core component of the European economic, social and legal systems and are a supporting pillar of the European social model and of a social market economy.
There is a clear political and financial responsibility on the part of the public sector to co-ordinate the provision of SGIs. Leaving this purely to market forces is not appropriate. Non-profit organisations and social enterprises in particular have demonstrated their capabilities in providing excellent SGIs.
In order to promote the increasing role of non-profit organisations and social enterprises, an evaluation of the status of SGIs in all Member States, particularly social SGIs, would be needed. This process would help identify those sectors where the free market is particularly weak and where public financing is primarily needed.
The PSG is also focusing its work on the potential of SGIs for boosting growth, creating sustainable jobs and promoting competitiveness. In this regard the Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN) Section conducted a study on "Review of Member States' reports on the implementation of the European Commission Decision on the provision of state aid to the provision of services of general economic interest".