Organizational Challenges of the (Local) Water Supply in the European Union Member States
The authors discuss challenges of water supply in the European Union and the Member States, which mainly refer to local systems. The Member States retain autonomy in the water supply, however European Union general rules, and in particular the competition rules, are used for 'soft' liberalization (and privatization). The authors expose complex public policy issues of water supply; taking into account characteristics of the water sector. The article highlights typical models of the water sector organization with advantages and shortcomings. Dogmatic favouring or ranking of certain models, already at the abstract level, shall be rejected. Authors opt for case-by-case ranking of such organizational models. Dogmatic favouring of private participation and market competition is disputable and a credible discussion shall not be limited only to their advantages but also to their costs and risks.
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