Bruno Liebhaberg: "EU should re-think liberalisation of network industries"

27.11.2014

In an interview with EurActiv, Bruno Liebhaberg, CERRE Director General, urges the Juncker Commission to reconsider the EU’s approach to liberalisation in sectors such as telecoms, railways and energy. CERRE’s recent report ‘Network industries: efficient regulation, affordable & adequate services', prepared by a group of 18 top-level academics and published on 18 June, recommends that the new Commission thoroughly assesses the situation in Europe's network industries, based on the last 20 years' experience. Network industries were opened to competition with the objective of achieving more efficient, innovative services and affordable prices for consumers, Liebhaberg explains. The liberalisation process sometimes assumed that competition would bring about efficiency and welfare gains. This proved correct in a number of cases, but in some sectors it seems that policymakers might have overlooked that much of these gains would likely come from reduced labour costs. It would be wise to avoid this misstep in the current round of debate around the internal market in network industries.

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