The purpose of this exploratory opinion is to shed light on the specific contribution that state-owned enterprises/public undertakings can make to the EU's competitiveness and to pinpoint the specific challenges that exist in this area for EU policy and the European institutions.
As part of its consideration of the way in which public undertakings could contribute more to the EU's economic recovery and competitiveness, the EESC has addressed the issue of Europe's services of general economic interest in a number of opinions.
The EESC therefore proposes:
- the introduction of a "statute for an EU public enterprise";
- the introduction of EU public enterprises for major trans-European infrastructure networks in the areas of energy or transport, which would cooperate with national or local enterprises in these sectors;
- studies into the timeliness and feasibility of a European energy service of general interest for the benefit of the public, with a common approach to prices, taxation, financial rules, security, continuity, economic development and climate protection;
- the establishment of a European Transmission System Operator by progressively building an independent company to manage a unified gas transport network throughout the EU;
- public (EU and Member State) private partnerships to increase the security of energy supply and ensure that interconnected energy networks (gas, electricity, oil) are managed in an integrated way.
The EESC also raises the issue of the economic activities and independence of the EU's executive agencies, while their tasks and responsibilities lead them to be directly involved in socio-economic activities.
Other relevant EESC opinions:
For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat.