CASES C-573/07, SEA & C-206/08, EURAWASSER

16 Colum. J. Eur. L. 303 (2010)

Marco Amorese, Ph.D., UniversitA degli Studi di Brescia, LL.M. Harvard Law School, J.D. University of Milan, Studio legale Amorese.

In the cases in comment, the European Court of Justice tries to clarify two crucial concepts in the area of services of general interest: (a) the definition of concession and (b) the scope of the “in-house” exception. The strict definition so far formulated has prompted local bodies to create very complex and inefficient corporate governances in companies awarded services of general interest. The European Court of Justice seems to have taken a more permissive tack that should give local bodies more ample maneuvering power in operating services of general interest. However, the conflict between regulation of services of general interest and competition rules calls for a thorough overhaul of the matter.