Public services (often named Services of General Interest or SGIs) are services whose provider is entrusted by a public authority with specific missions of general interest. These services include water, energy, education, public transport, postal services, healthcare, telecommunications, social care, public administration and so on.
European citizens use public services in their daily lives, when they are travelling to work, having their rubbish collected or receiving medical advice. The private sector relies just as much on public services, to invest in infrastructures, new delivery models, technology innovations and as a market for its products.
In this sense, public services are the backbone of European society and the European social model, as well as the infrastructure for private business prosperity.
This is why it is important to reinforce our understanding of the need for public services in Europe and their contribution to the economy. The conclusions reached here are based on Europe-wide data for the years 2006 to 2010 gathered as part of a research activity conducted by Cambridge Econometrics.
The aim of the project is to collect data on public services in Europe and improve the knowledge of industrial relations in this field based on a methodology conceived under the previous “Mapping of the Public Services” project. This second edition goes further by analysing the evolution of public services over time, including their response to the first years of the crisis.