Außenansicht des D2 Gebäudes

The Legal Framework for Remunicipalisations in Austria

Research field: Cities in the Context of European Integration and Globalisation

In recent years, prominent cases from around the world have created the impression of a global trend towards remunicipalisation. In the European context, these include the remunicipalisation of water utilities in cities like Paris, Grenoble, Berlin, Potsdam or Budapest. Remunicipalisation is increasingly seen an important tool to respond to problems in connection with the privatised provision of public services and, more generally, citizens’ changing values and policy preferences. However, Austrian cities considering considering the remunicipalisation of a service, have to take into account an increasingly complex legal framework. Legal barriers and standards can be found at the domestic level as well as the level of the European Union (including the fundamental freedoms, the rules on competition, state aid or public procurement). More recently, another ‘layer’ has been added, as particular attention has been drawn to the effects that EU free trade agreements such as CETA, TTIP or TiSA might have on remunicipalisations. A major concern in the public debate is that such FTAs could lock in the status quo of liberalisation and privatisation measures, thus impeding or even preventing future remunicipalisations.

Project Lead: Univ.Prof. Dr. Verena Madner