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Annalisa Negrelli, Anastasia Roukouni and Angélique Chassy

In many EU countries, notwithstanding the privatisation policies, a large part of the supply of Local Public Transport (LPT) services is delivered by State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs); only a minority is covered by private operators or by mixed forms of public-private ones. There is a noteworthy variety in the LPT services organization among countries. Considerable differences are met even among cities within the same country. In this perspective, the quality of institutions is a factor that could assume a relevant impact on the internal policies and so, it could explain the differences in selecting among public, private or mixed private-public operators. In this context, the objective of the research is to critically examine how the main policy reforms – promoted by the EU and adopted by the Member States in the last two decades – have affected and continue to affect the market of public transport services. Starting from an empirical survey on the different experiences of the EU countries, the aim of the chapter is to investigate the theoretical inference of the collected data, analysing main juridical and socio-economic issues. What is the degree of market opening in the sector of LPT in some main European cities/municipalities? Which are the most efficient and progressive examples? Considering the degree of market opening, how could the juridical instruments adopted in the EU be a tool to compel the internal markets not open to competition? In other words, could the EU policies be a sort of ‘fly-wheel’, due to induce a virtuous circle that also entails single internal markets?