Marta Maroni, Case note on ECJ ruling on the Universal Service Directive, Judgment in Case C-1/14 Base Company NV and Mobistar NV v Ministerraad, International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, Vol. 3, Iss. 4, 2015
This paper is a commentary on the ECJ ruling on the Universal Service Directive Judgment in Case C-1/14 Base Company NV and Mobistar NV v Ministerraad. In its judgment, the ECJ states that the Universal Service Directive does not lay down a social pricing obligation for mobile communication services and mobile internet subscriptions. This case provides an opportunity to look at the evolution of the notion of universal service and its relationship with services of general economic interest. This commentary underlines the paradoxical character of European Legislation concerning universal service. On the one hand European Legislation designs standards for providing availability of electronic communication networks to all and imposes an obligation on member states to ensure these services. On the other hand, it limits the scope and the means through which it is possible to reach such standards. Consequently, EU legislation limits the member states discretion on the means to achieve the availability of universal service. Finally, this paper explains the reasons why mobile communication services should be included within the notion of universal service.