This issue of the Policy Brief - European Social Policy highlights the potential positive impact that the Lisbon Treaty could have on public services in Europe. Section 1 of this contribution by Séverine Picard, Legal Adviser of the ETUC, provides an overview of the current legal situation, revealing the conflictual relationship between EU internal market and competition rules on the one hand and public services on the other. The second section of her contribution takes the view that an ambitious reading of the new provisions of the Lisbon Treaty could lead to a radical change of approach. In her view the Lisbon Treaty offers the possibility to redefine the internal market concept in relation to Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI) and to define a new set of rules accordingly.

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