Organizational Challenges of the (Local) Water Supply in the European Union Member States

  • Aleš Ferčič University of Maribor, Faculty of Law, Mladinska ulica 9, 2000 Maribor
  • Rajko Knez University of Maribor, Faculty of Law, Mladinska ulica 9, 2000 Maribor
Keywords: water supply, natural resources, models of organization of the water supply sector, liberalization and privatization considerations in the water supply sector of EU Member States, types of market competition, water services concession, public services


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.

Author Biographies

Aleš Ferčič, University of Maribor, Faculty of Law, Mladinska ulica 9, 2000 Maribor
Assistant Professor
Rajko Knez, University of Maribor, Faculty of Law, Mladinska ulica 9, 2000 Maribor


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