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Services of General Economic Interest: Proper Definition and Avoidance of Overcompensation
Member States need to demonstrate that public service obligations imposed on undertakings are necessary and proportional to the need for public service. A change in the funding of public services does not constitute new aid if it does not alter its objectives, the beneficiaries or the amount of aid by more than 20%.
It is a well-established principle in the case law that Member States may impose public service obligations on undertakings only when the market fails to provide what citizens need and that the obligations must be clear, sufficiently detailed, compulsory and assigned by a public act. A recent judgment confirms that, in addition, Member States must demonstrate that the
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