The risks of administrative simplification in some tourist sectors: some undesirable consequences of the services directive

Ma Teresa Acosta Penco


The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community foresaw the establishment of a common market based on four fundamental freedoms: the free movement of persons, services, goods and capitals. Being the services sector the most important in the EU, in economic terms, the limited progress made in this area was soon insufficient. That is why a single directive was adopted to address the services sector as a whole: the Services Directive.

The purpose of the Directive was to facilitate the freedom to establish and provide services by removing administrative obstacles in the development of service activities. In order to remove such obstacles, member states were obliged to replace authorization with other less restrictive techniques of administrative intervention (except overriding reasons relating to the public interest).

This work will try to analyze how the change of techniques of administrative intervention has affected the tourism sector. A sector characterized by its great complexity as exclusive competence of the Autonomous Communities (which entails important differences in its regulation). In certain tourist subsectors, such as active tourism or rural tourism, administrative simplification has raised many questions in the doctrine. Academics criticizes the lack of reflection of regional and state legislator for having prioritized the liberalization of the sector over the safety of consumers and users, the environment or the quality of tourism services.


Services Directive, tourism sector, authorization, responsible statement, prior notice.

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