BOOKS: ZIANI Salim, Foreword by ECKERT Gabriel, Bibliothèque de droit public, tome 285, LGDJ, 2015, 442 p.

Du service public à l’obligation de service public

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While French law has a notion of public service obligation that contributes to the conceptualisation and identification of public service, another notion, under the same name, is now spreading in European Union law. However, the latter makes the disinterest of commercial enterprise the matrix of the general interest and differs from a holistic conception referring, in France, to the public interest. Its system therefore tends to limit the competitive imbalances that any public intervention, direct or indirect, could generate, while favouring the outsourcing of the management of the service and imposing limited funding. It also includes a set of management principles which, although close to the major public service laws, instrumentalise public action in favour of the dynamics and continuity of the market. By means of the public service obligation, in its European sense, the public authority limits itself to organising the market (it orders it) and calls upon it (it commissions it) to guarantee the existence and provision of services of general interest. By making market failure a matrix of the general interest and its balance a requirement of general interest, while reflecting the retreat of the interventionist State and the consecration of the authorising State, this notion modifies the normative and conceptual framework of public action in France.

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  • University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne


Stéphane Rodrigues, Du service public à l’obligation de service public, May 2015, Concurrences N° 2-2015, Art. N° 72555, pp. 233-234

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