The Provision of Basic Services in Liberalised Markets
The EU funded BASIC project has analyzed the provision of basic services or ’services of general interest‘ in the electricity, telecommunication, public transport and postal service sectors in eight European countries, namely, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and the UK. It was carried out by an international and interdisciplinary consortium of nine partners.

The overall aim of the project was to provide an analysis of the problems, shortcomings and strengths of basic service provision under different regimes of regulation and liberalization. The study was carried out in the context of the ongoing changes in the electricity, telecommunication and postal service sectors, most notably the increasing tendencies towards liberalization.

Two key characteristics render the liberalization of these industries somewhat atypical: first, their network properties and thus the problems associated with the regulation of natural monopolies; second the expectation that the services they provide represent, at least in part, a public good insofar as they are attached to social rights, and that they continue to do so even if privately managed or submitted to the rules of competition.

The results and conclusions of the BASIC project are drawn from many areas of study, ranging from a literature review and stakeholder analysis to the quantitative and qualitative analysis of different country and sectoral models.
BASIC Executive Summary >
BASIC Final Report >
BASIC Stakeholder Discourse