Advocacy for the Constitutionalization of General Interest

The coalition of actors promoting the re-regulation of welfare services formed in the first half of the 1990s. Initially, the alliance between the social partners, namely the European Centre for Enterprises with Public Participation (known under the acronym CEEP) and the ETUC, was key with regard to claims coming from civil society. In the political arena, re-regulation of SGI has been forcefully promoted by France, supported by the small but influential Member State Belgium, and other countries mainly from the South (Italy, Spain). The coalition could also rely on supporters within the EP. However, as we will see in the following section, the support of the assembly as a whole eroded over time. The main achievement of the coalition was the multifaceted recognition of SGI in subsequent EU treaties. However, this process of constitutionalization has remained ambiguous, and is ultimately yet another reflection of the battle of ideas over welfare services in Europe.

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