Remunicipalisation. It’s a big word for a big job, picking-up the pieces from numerous failed attempts to privatise public services originally supplied by local governments. It is the name of the process the City of Paris went through in bringing their water service back in house seven years ago. Long enough ago for their success to be measured: it’s a win!
Paris Water win highlights benefits of remunicipalisation
Seven years ago the City of Paris brought their water supply back into public hands. Today, they received one of the highest international public service awards at a special UN ceremony at The Hague.
The award comes on the back of a wave of substantive research on the failures of privatisation and the benefits of public provision.
Just hours before the ceremony, Transnational Institute, PSI and a wide coalition of partners released a new comprehensive publication - Reclaiming Public Services - which includes the Eau de Paris remunicipalisation as a key case study for how local communities can fight to win back public goods.
How cities and citizens are turning back privatisation
Reclaiming Public Services is vital reading for anyone interested in the future of local, democratic services like energy, water and health care. This is an in-depth world tour of new initiatives in public ownership and the variety of approaches to deprivatisation.
Key findings of the book:
- There are better solutions than privatisation.
- Remunicipalisation is far more common than presumed, and it works.
- Remunicipalisation is a local response to austerity.
- Remunicipalisation is a key strategy for energy transition and energy democracy.
- Bringing services back in-house is ultimately cheaper for local authorities.
- Remunicipalisation drives better, more democratic public services.
- Remunicipalisation presents 835 more reasons to fight trade and investment deals.
- Lessons learned: Don’t privatise in the first place.
- Remunicipalisation provides opportunities for new, diversified, democratic public ownership.
- Remunicipalising cities and citizens groups are working together and building networks.
The award won by the City of Paris and the new publication serve as both endorsements and yet further evidence of the failures of privatisation and the benefits of public provision.
Australia is not the only country in the world to be ravaged by failed privatisation, but we seem to be one of the last to realise this can be fixed. The ASU believes in line with the evidence that renationalising, or remunicipalising, or just plain returning services to public hands is not just a valid response, but a necessary one to ensure our communities are looked after.