Policy and action
Services of General Interest & Social and Health Services
'Services of General Interest' (SGI) are widely known as essential services such as water supply, gas, electricity, postal services, transport as well as social and health services. They all pursue two main objectives: implement fundamental social and economic rights of people and achieve economic, social and territorial cohesion.
The European Commission has announced to adopt in autumn 2007 a Communication on Services of General Interest, together with a report on the "Internal market Review". At the same time the Commission will publish in autumn 2007 its first biannual report on social SGI and a communication on a "European Strategy for Social Services of General Interest".
A number of serious issues remain to be clarified like the securing of universal and equal access for all to affordable high quality social and health services , the democratic evaluation of SGI and the financial sustainability of these services.
The Social Platform started working on the issue of Services of General Interest at the end of 2002, when the European Commission started preparations for its Green Paper on Services of General Interest. The Platform's campaign on SGI's and social and health services fits into the goal of advancing social justice, participatory democracy, the principles of equality, solidarity, non-discrimination and the promotion and respect of fundamental rights for all.
In September 2008, the Social Platform published a paper titled '9 Principles to Achieve Quality Social and Health Services' that proposes a starting point for a quality framework.