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Defined, organised and financed within the framework of the secular construction of each of the nation-states, public services have been the object of a profound change in their universe of reference over the last twenty-five years, which began with network services (communications, transport, energy) and has widened and deepened as the construction of the European Union has progressed.
In an unprecedented way, this book retraces the long process of European integration of public services, while at the same time analysing the logics that structured it. It helps to dispel a number of preconceived ideas, such as that which makes France the country of the exception of public service, or that which makes the construction of Europe the gravedigger of public service. It shows that the changes that public services are undergoing are part of the dominant strategies, at the same time as they are marked on the one hand by the weight of national histories and logics, and on the other hand by the specific characteristics of each sector.
Far from being just a "large market", the European Union is developing the roots of a common and renewed conception of public services as a component of the European model of society, combining efficiency and solidarity, subsidiarity and cohesion.