This Won’t Hurt a Bit: The Commission’s Approach to Services of General Economic Interest and State Aid to Hospitals

  • Leigh Hancher
  • Wolf Sauter
Part of the Legal Issues of Services of General Interest book series (LEGAL)


The exemption regime for healthcare services that constitute SGEI as part of the 2011 Decision under the new SGEI Package has been broadened considerably to cover not just hospital care but all (curative) healthcare as well as long-term care, irrespective of the amount of aid or turnover concerned. The IRIS-H decision concerning the financing of public hospitals in the Brussels capital region of Belgium, although adopted by the Commission prior to the 2011 SGEI Package, proves a useful illustration of the way the Commission applies the rules on State aid and SGEI compensation in practice. Both the new 2011 SGEI Package and the State aid practice show that the Commission is content to do without a stringent application of the State aid rules based on economic analysis in the hospital sector—or indeed in healthcare and long-term care at large: net costs are assumed as given, and only the scope for reasonable profits is restrained. The Commission could presumably reverse this trend by bringing its own practice into line with a more ambitious interpretation of its recent legislation, and insisting that Member States do the same.


Private Hospital Public Procurement Hospital Sector Commission Decision Brussels Capital Region 
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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press, the Hague, the Netherland, and the authors 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tilburg Law SchoolTilburgThe Netherlands

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