Rights of Recipients of Services

Rights of Recipients of Services in Europe

Obligations relating to the rights of recipients of services in relation to the E.U. Services Directive

The following is an examination of obligations relating to the rights of recipients of services regarding the European Union Servicies Directive [1]:

Obligations relating to the rights of recipients of services: Free Movement of Services

In order to establish a genuine Internal Market in services, it is not only necessary to facilitate the freedom of operators to provide services but it is equally important to ensure that recipients of services can easily exercise their freedom to receive them. As stated in the case law of the ECJ, the freedom of recipients to receive services forms an integral part of the fundamental freedom enshrined in Article 49 of the EC Treaty140.

Section 2 of Chapter IV of the Services Directive is devoted to strengthening the rights of recipients of services, in particular consumers. This section aims to remove obstacles for recipients wanting to make use of services supplied by service providers established in other Member States and to abolish discriminatory requirements based on the recipient's nationality or place of residence. The section also ensures that recipients of services have access to general information about the requirements that service providers from other Member States need to comply with, thus enabling recipients to make an informed choice when considering opting for the services of a provider established in another Member State.

Articles 19 to 21 apply to all recipients of services as defined in Article 4(3) of the Directive. Thus, all nationals of a Member State and any legal person as referred to in Article 48 of the EC Treaty and established in a Member State benefit from Articles 19 to 21. In addition, as stated in Article 4(3) as well as in Recital 36, the notion of “recipient” also covers any natural person who – although not a national of a Member State – already benefits from rights conferred upon him by Community acts. As a result, these persons also benefit from the rights provided for under Articles 19 to 21141.



  1. Information on obligations relating to the rights of recipients of services based on the EU Services Directive Handbook, UK Government

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