Volume 23 (2017)

Volume 23 (2017) / Issue 2

Marton Varju, 'Conflict and Complementarity: EU Obligations, Member State Interests and Services of General Interest' (2017) 23 European Public Law, Issue 2, pp. 347–364

Member State interests; EU policies; EU obligations; complementarity; competences; SGEI; Single Market; public service values; Member State discretion; proportionality


This article examines, through the example of the EU’s law and policy on Services on General Interest, the claim that the relationship between Union obligations and Member State interests can be conceived not only in terms of conflict, but also in terms of complementarity. It argues that even though the main purpose of EU law is to confine Member State conduct pursuing local interests needs, the same legal framework also recognizes the interconnectedness of Member State obligations and interests in the Union, which in certain policy areas, where the EU action is delimited by constitutional principles or by the lack of competences, may include an element of complementarity. In the legal and policy domain of Services of General Interest (SGI), the relevant policy documents, Article 14 TFEU and Protocol 26, and Article 106(2) TFEU confirm this essentially positive relationship between Union obligations and Member State interests.

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ISSN: 1354-3725
ID: EURO2017021