Towards regional communities for water utilities? Between national trends and European principles (France, Italy, Romania)

By Emmanuelle Hellier

In Europe, the technical rationalization of water utilities is growing, while the territories of water management become larger and more integrated. This political and administrative process is based on municipal units. Driven at subnational level or through inter-municipal partnership, the process questions the constitution of political capacity at a supra-local level. The article considers these developments through the notion of regional community and the process of uniform pricing. The empirical analysis focuses on three national systems (France, Italy and Romania), in which three case studies are investigated. The results identify two forms, the intermunicipality and the supra municipality, and underline that political capacity is less linked to a single water utilities operator than to trends of political cooperation and integration between municipalities.


  • water utilities
  • intermunicipality
  • uniform pricing
  • territories
  • Europe
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