The Provision of Public Services in Europe

The Provision of Public Services in Europe

Between State, Local Government and Market

Edited by Hellmut Wollmann and Gérard Marcou

The book is the first of its kind to provide a comparative analysis of the provision of social and public services in France, Italy, Germany, the UK and Norway.

Chapter 10: Comparative Aspects of Institutional Variants for Local Public Service Provision

Giuseppe Grossi, Gérard Marcou and Christoph Reichard

Subjects: economics and finance, services, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy


Giuseppe Grossi, Gérard Marcou and Christoph Reichard INTRODUCTION This chapter addresses the various institutional arrangements for the delivery of local public services in France, Germany and Italy. It has a comparative focus but provides an analysis of how the different institutional variants of service provision have developed over time. In particular, it examines what new arrangements have been adopted and what effects may be expected for municipal governance. The chapter is intended to offer a critical analysis of the overall structures and trends rather than an analysis based on sectoral developments (e.g. water or social care). These may be found in other chapters of the book. With regard to the broad portfolio of local services, our intention is to concentrate on services usually provided by local utilities and which are mostly traded on (regulated) markets (in EU terminology: services of general economic interest), for example infrastructure services and basic services such as water, energy and transport. The chapter is organized as follows. It begins with an overview of institutional patterns in the three countries under study. We make a comparative analysis focusing on corporatization, that is, on the ongoing process of transforming local government units into (semi-)autonomous corporations, most with independent legal status and enjoying considerable managerial freedom. We also identify similarities and differences in patterns of service delivery. 217 218 The provision of public services in Europe INSTITUTIONAL PROVISION AND ORGANIZATION OF LOCAL PUBLIC SERVICES IN THE THREE COUNTRIES France Institutional variants of local service provision: a...

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