This special issue of Network Industries Quarterly is dedicated to the European Green Deal and its implications for the transport sector. In its long-term decarbonisation strategy ‘A Clean Planet for All,’ the European Commission paints a clear picture of the vast transformations that will have to take place across all sectors of the economy for Europe to become climate neutral by 2050. In its subsequent European Green Deal, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reinforces this ambition and pledges to enshrine the climate neutrality objective into legislation.
This issue of Network Industries Quarterly is devoted to water utilities, their governance and their performance. With growing urbanization, pollution and water stress, utilities are ever more challenged to provide safe and affordable drinking water in an ecologically sustainable manner. Are they and will they in the future be up to the task? What is and should be the right size to do this? What is and should be the best governance of them (ownership, legal structure, regulation) to make sure that they can deliver? What is and should be the most appropriate articulation between governance of the water resource and governance of the utility? These are some of the questions that the four papers seek to address. The examples the authors refer to pertain mainly to Latin America, namely Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.
In this issue we pursue our exploration of whether and how digital platforms, especially digital platforms as applied to the network industries, should and could be regulated. Indeed, as of recently, attention paid to these emerging digital platforms is exploding. Most of the related publications aim at making recommendations as to whether, and if yes, how to regulate these digital platforms in the interest of the consumer, the citizen, the public economy and even public values. Some of these recommendations may be drawn quite hastily, triggered by scandals and other (geo-)political considerations.
Digitalisation is transforming all industries, including the network industries. It is creating a new model of industrial organisation using online platform as intermediaries for multisided markets. As a matter of fact, digital platforms display all characteristics of the traditional network industries: network effects, efficiency, scale, concentration, market power, etc.