The future of the public enterprise: mission, performance and governance 2012-2014

“The future of the public enterprise”. On the initiative of Prof. Massimo Florio (University of Milan, Italy), the Steering Committee also including President Gabriel Obermann and Profs. Luc Bernier (ENAP, Quebec, Canada) and Philippe Bance (University of Rouen, France) worked up an ambitious research programme for the period 2012-2014 bearing the title “The future of the public enterprise: mission, performance and governance”.

  1. a review of the recent scientific literature on the subject, and also for conducting empirical studies.
  2. realization of empirical studies (based on an analysis grid serving as a model, experts were contacted via call for contributions to conduct as many case studies as possible (recent history of a public enterprise in its sectoral, institutional and national setting; analysis of success stories and sticking points, its economic and social performance; etc.).
  3. a study on the public policies conducted for public enterprises, the evolution of missions defined by the public 10 authorities as regards their enterprises, the forms of organisation and governance, and the socio-economic effects and spin-off of public enterprises’ activities.

More information can be obtained in the research presentation document.

Eager to guarantee a certain degree of visibility of research works and to benefit from the comparison of notes between the different international contributors, three discussion seminars were held in 2013 (in English only). They were a huge success. Each of these were organised around the three main thrusts of the research programme:

Berlin Seminar (14 and 15 February 2013) organised by CIRIEC-Germany and dedicated to theoretical contributions and examination of the existing literature on public enterprise. This international seminar drew some forty members around the theme “Public Enterprise in the 21st century: Recent advances on public missions and performance – Theory contributions and literature review”. There were productive exchanges between researchers from many countries (for the most part European, but also from Algeria, Canada and Uruguay).

Milan Seminar (13-14 June 2013) jointly organised by the University of Milan and CIRIEC International, dedicated to 16 public enterprise case histories. Attracting a public of some fifty or so over 2 days, this seminar, entitled “Case histories of public enterprises: learning from success and failure” covered the sectors of public passenger transport, water, energy, finance and other services in the 12 countries (8 in the European Union, plus Algeria, plus Canada, plus Costa Rica plus Uruguay).

Brussels Seminar (9-10 September 2013) jointly organised by CIRIECBelgium and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, dedicated to more open, multidimensional themes in the study of public enterprise: “Public Enterprises in the 21st Century: Various issues from regulation, pricing, CSR to marketing and other reflection and case studies”. Some 35 members from 13 countries (8 from the European Union, plus Algeria, Canada, Japan, Peru, Switzerland) experienced 2 days of intense debate around the 15 papers there presented and discussed.

At the end of this working group, several publications have emerged: