Universal Service Provisions in International Agreements of the EU: From Derogation to Obligation?
The EU is aware that international trade agreements such as the WTO and the GATS may affect the internal EU response to trade in public services and the Commission has publicly stated that international trade agreements should not impede the EU capability to pursue its policies on public services. Markus Krajewski adopts a different approach and asks the question: to what extent can the international agreements signed by the EC/EU reflect, or even advance, a positive understanding of public services? This is an important perspective now that the Treaty of Lisbon 2009 places external relations policy in a larger value, and principle, driven framework. Krajewski also examines the role of the WTO and in particular the GATS. The telecom sector is the focus of attention because telecom provides an important model for liberalisation and the development of universal service obligations which are mirrored in other sectors opened up to competition. Two case studies follow, first the EC–Chile bilateral association agreement and second, the EU–CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement which is of particular interest in that it contains positive universal service obligations. Krajewski also examines a number of agreements which are currently under discussion to determine if there is an emerging trend to include and define PSO and USO in the external agreements of the EU. Underlying this approach is a quest to determine whether in its external role the EU is continuing internal trends of seeing public services not only as exemptions and derogations from EU law, but also as a positive requirement.
KeywordsFree Trade Agreement Postal Service Reference Paper Universal Service Service Obligation
I would like to thank Olga Batura for helpful comments on an earlier version of this contribution.
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