Le service public

Bruno Lombaert, François Tulkens, Hugues Dumont, Pierre Jadoul, Sébastien Van Drroghenbroek

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Stemming from French doctrine and case law, the concept of public service was imported into Belgium following the work of André Buttgenbach. After adapting to the Belgian legal system, it was profoundly transformed under the influence of European law, notably with a view to liberalisation. This liberalisation concerns various sectors, most often in networks (telecoms, energy, etc.), but not exclusively (postal services). The process is far from complete and the matter remains in constant evolution. Some see it as a real threat to more sensitive sectors (education, housing, audiovisual, etc.). European law, in its desire to ensure a large internal market, does not lose sight of the specific characteristics and non-economic dimension of these sectors? Others see the concepts now being applied (service of general economic or non-economic interest, universal service, public service obligations) as a form of public service renewal. The study day of 27 November 2008, organised at the Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis by the C.I.R.C. and the Department of Legal Recycling, attempted to take stock of this polysemic concept, so often decried but which nevertheless remains a "must" in administrative law. The present work brings together the proceedings of this study day; it consists of two volumes. The first deals with the notion of public service, in the past, present and future. Starting with the history of the concept and its recent and ongoing European developments, it then reviews the understanding of the concept in comparative law and in various sectors of activity where the traditional concept of public service either seems to be under threat or is evolving under the influence of European law. Particular attention is also paid to the rules of public and private law governing the internal organisation of the public service and its relations with users. In the second volume of the book, the emphasis is placed on the legal framework of public services. The traditional laws of public service - continuity, change, equality of users - are revisited. The question is then raised as to whether new public service laws are in the process of being drawn up: they would be called efficiency, transparency and neutrality. The general conclusions which close the book summarise the main thrust of the contributions published in the two volumes on the theme of the "Europeanisation" of public service law. They summarise the threats and factors of renewal brought about by this "Europeanisation".

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  • University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne


Stéphane Rodrigues, Le service public, September 2010, Concurrences N° 3-2010, Art. N° 32149, pp. 203-205

Publisher La Charte

Date 1 January 2009

Number of pages 604

ISBN 9782874032264

Visites 2240

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