(SGI/SGEI) Prudent and reliable provision of public goods and services that entail a special responsibility for the community at large. These comprise, e.g., energy, water, waste and sewage disposal, education, culture, medical services, or public transport. They are characterized by a guarantee of equal, universal access, security, and continuity of provision and – where the state is the provider – by democratic scrutiny and public accountability. Thus, for example, in Austria, the definition of services of general economic interest and how they are delivered typically involves a high degree of municipal autonomy.

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