Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Christopher Bovis
Chapter 18: Public service partnerships
European States are changing their role and their responsibilities in the process of delivering public services. Recent developments have shown that public services require state intervention for their provision, organization and delivery. Public services often emerge and interface in a sui generis marketplace that does not correspond to private markets. This axiom implies the relative inability of anti-trust law and policy to regulate this marketplace, alongside an overwhelming need for safeguarding the principles of transparency and accountability. The aforementioned principles underpin modern EU public sector governance. The notion of partnerships in delivering public services has been gaining intellectual credibility and has been attracting regulatory momentum over the last decade. This chapter focuses on the conceptual insights of instruments such as public-private partnerships, concessions and public forms of cooperation in the format of public-public partnerships and in-house arrangements. The objective is to elaborate on a new era in public sector management in the EU that links the concept of public service with current and future principles of public sector management. Diachronically and traditionally the role of the state has been as the conduit for providing public services. The term public services, which often refers to services that are offered to the general public, highlights that a service has been assigned a specific role in the public interest, or refers to the ownership or status of the entity providing the service.
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