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Parliamentary questions
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6 June 2017
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001712/2017

Member States have considerable discretion when defining service of general economic interest (‘SGEI’) social housing. The scope and the organisation of SGEIs vary considerably from one Member State to another, depending on the history, the culture of public intervention, and the economic and social conditions prevailing in each Member State.

To be an SGEI, social housing must however respond to a public need: the provision of accommodation to disadvantaged citizens or socially less advantaged groups who due to solvency constraints are unable to obtain housing at market conditions. Member States may not define a social housing SGEI so broadly that it manifestly goes beyond responding to this public need.

In this context, the Commission has accepted social mixity and social cohesion as valid public policy objectives for which state aid may be granted under the 2012 SGEI Decision(1).

For the time being, the Commission has not taken any decision as to the timing of a possible review of the 2012 SGEI Decision.

(1)OJ L7, 11.1.2012, p.3.

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