Fundamentals # 2004 Milan
More than ever before public utility services in recent years have undergone a profound process of reorganization that has placed them at the focus of interest of the more important economic and financial operators.
All this, from the concentration of municipal utilities into new companies, to the extension of the range of services supplied, quotation on the stock exchange and the presence on the international market, took place in a comparatively short space of time, the hallmark of a transformation that has very few equivalents in the panorama of national enterprises.
As is often the case in this country, the regulatory framework does not always preceded changes in the operating and institutional framework, and sometimes comes to the fore only when the latter has already begun to change and then follows, generalizes and stimulates this evolutionary process.
Ever since the late ’90s it has become increasingly clear that there is a need to change the reference framework regarding local public utilities.
A mix of factors ranging from the need imposed by European treaties to open up the market also in these sectors to the shortage of resources available to the local authorities that contributed to enhance the economic value of the respective enterprises. It also gave rise to a widespread opinion that the time had come to put an end to what had now become an unsustainable equidistance between various management forms (from special company to third party concession) expressed at the time in arts. 22 and 23 of law 142/90 (then incorporated in decree 267/2000).
Moreover, law 34/94 on water services refers, although indicating no preferences, to the forms of management (except management on a time and materials basis and the institution) provided for in law 142/90.