Giulio Napolitano

Il servizio universale e i diritti dei cittadini utenti

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The acknowledgement of universal service principle in the United States, E.C. and national law has been seriously criticized by two different and even opposite points of view. According to somebody, its recognition is unnecessary and it represents, actually, an obstacle to liberalization; according to others, it is unable to guarantee the values traditionally preserved by the the principles of service public. In this essay, the author argues for a different thesis: universal service, as an integration of competitive market, is an opportunity to give to the citizens enforceable rights to enjoy essential goods and services. To support this thesis, the author compares the traditional law of public services and the new E.C. based regulation of universal service. The comparison shows the move from the universality of public service, as an objective, ipothetical and implicit qualification of an activity organized by public bodies, to the "universal right" of every citizen to essential goods and services, guaranteed by public bodies. The recognition of this right is strictly connected with the building up of a european citizenship.


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