Privatisation, contracting out and outsourcing have been the dominant trends in public services. Now there is increasing evidence of trends in the opposite direction, according to a report from EPSU.
In a number of European countries, including Germany, France and the UK, municipalities are continuing to move towards remunicipalisation rather than privatisation, according to the EPSU-report “Re-municipalising municipal services in Europe”.
Most of the remunicipalisations have taken place when an existing contract or concession with a private company has expired. The key reasons for the remunicipalisations are failures and problems with private sector performance.
And – contrary to what has been claimed – the remunicipalisations have reduced the costs. Municipalities in the UK, Germany and Finland all say that efficiency and cost issues are the most important factors for taking the services back.