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Stadtwerke Köln: a market-based approach towards public service provision


  • Dorothea GREILING

    () (University Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria))


In the last two decades there has been a strong drive by the EU-Regulation of liberalizing the service delivery of Services of General Economic Interest. Public enterprises are under pressure to be more market-orientated. In Germany there has been a long tradition that public enterprises are seen as an instrument by the public owners to achieve a variety of economic and non-economic policy objectives. This creates an inherent tension between market- and public service orientation. Against this background an in-depth case study was carried out in other to investigate how one of the biggest local public enterprises reacted to these pressures. The SWK group is a positive example where market orientation and public service provision goes hand in hand since the founding days. The existence of the SWK group was never questioned by the public owner who regards it as its entrepreneurial arm for providing local infrastructure services.

Suggested Citation

  • Dorothea GREILING, 2013. "Stadtwerke Köln: a market-based approach towards public service provision," CIRIEC Working Papers 1304, CIRIEC - Université de Liège.
  • Handle: RePEc:crc:wpaper:1304

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    Case study; Germany; governance; local public enterprises; regulation; Services of General Economic Interest; performance;

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