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Financing Services of General Interest in the EU: How do Public Procurement and State Aids Interact to Demarcate between Market Forces and Protection?

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The present article reveals the interplay between public procurement and state financing of public services within the regulatory régime of state aids. The symbiotic flexibility embedded in the regime of regulating the award of public contracts which permits the introduction of public policy considerations in dispersing public services is established. This finding removes the often-misunderstood justification of public procurement as an economic exercise, and places its regulation in the centre of an ordo-liberal interpretation of the European integration process. The significance of public procurement for the financing of services of general interest is verified through an asymmetric geometry analysis. The article concludes that the public procurement framework will be relied upon for two main purposes: first to insert competitiveness within the public sector and market forces in the provision of services of general interest and secondly, to be used by the European judiciary and the European Commission as a system to verify conceptual links, create compatibility safeguards and authenticate established principles applicable in state aid regulation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1Professor of Law and Jean Monnet Chair in European and Business Law, Lancashire Law School; Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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