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The euro and public debt crises have given rise to a certain number of questions over the social dimension of the European Union in particular. It has therefore been logical to question the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union and its activity in the social sphere has been studied carefully by legal literature, so as to determine whether the euro crisis had, or could have, any influence on the case law of European Union courts. The analysis of the Court’s decisions on social activities within the competition and public tendering laws, in the context of the euro crisis, brings two main points to the fore. The first is that this crisis has not changed the antiquated view of social activities in these two laws – with such activities being used since the 1990s to differentiate, in competition law, between the market and non-market sectors and to determine in particular, in public tendering law, the applicability of the cardinal principles of this law and any derogations. Positive law is therefore based on old positions of case law that are constantly being referred to again by the Court. The second point is that the euro crisis – which postdates the emergence of the category of social services of general interest – has not had an empirically observable legal effect on either the legal texts adopted by the European legislator and the European Commission or the case law of the Court on social services of general interest, for reasons stemming both from how seldom cases are brought before the Court of Justice and from its resolve not to make use of a notion it has not created and which it still does not explain or clarify in more detail.

Dorian Guinard
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