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Services of general interest
"Services of General Interest" (SGI) are services such as transport, water, electricity, gas, telecommunications and postal services, which are judged to be essential for the functioning of modern society. These services may be provided by private as well as by public enterprises.
The political approach to the provision of Services of General Interest has changed significantly over recent years, and has been characterised by increased liberalisation. At the EC level, the principal policy orientations of the Commission are to be found in the Communication on Services of General Interest of 1996, the new provisions in the Amsterdam treaty and the recent Communication of 20 September 2000.
The availability, price and quality of Services of General Interest are, by definition, of great importance to consumers. This page aims to explain the consumer policy approach towards Services of General Interest, gives the results of a recent opinion poll on consumer satisfaction about Services of General Interest and the details of relevant legislation.