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Evaluating EU policies on public services: a citizens´ perspective

Clifton, Judith and Díaz-Fuentes, Daniel (2008): Evaluating EU policies on public services: a citizens´ perspective.

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Abstract

This article evaluates EU policies on public services – particularly public network services - from the citizens´ point of view. It is first argued that citizens´ perceptions about these services are important because they are essential for quality of life, but also because they exhibit economic characteristics such as asymmetrical information, adverse selection and positive externalities. Changing EU policy on public services is synthesised and classified into two main phases in section two. Citizen satisfaction with public services as revealed through surveys from 1997 to 2007 is explored in the third section. In the discussion, the prospects for EU policy on public services are considered and, it is argued that, from the perspectives of subsidiarity and proportionality, policy towards strengthening the common market is being increasingly uploaded to the supranational level in the form of directives, whilst cohesion and redistribution policies are being downloaded to the national level or dealt with at the supranational level by “soft” instruments.

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