Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union - PROTOCOLS - Protocol (No 26) on services of general interest
OJ C 115, 9.5.2008, p. 308–308 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
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PROTOCOL (No 26)
ON SERVICES OF GENERAL INTEREST
THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,
WISHING to emphasise the importance of services of general interest,
HAVE AGREED UPON the following interpretative provisions, which shall be annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union:
The shared values of the Union in respect of services of general economic interest within the meaning of Article 14 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union include in particular:
- the essential role and the wide discretion of national, regional and local authorities in providing, commissioning and organising services of general economic interest as closely as possible to the needs of the users;
- the diversity between various services of general economic interest and the differences in the needs and preferences of users that may result from different geographical, social or cultural situations;
- a high level of quality, safety and affordability, equal treatment and the promotion of universal access and of user rights.
The provisions of the Treaties do not affect in any way the competence of Member States to provide, commission and organise non-economic services of general interest.