The concluding chapter of the book offers a critical evaluation of the policy design adopted by the European Commission and by other international institutions, from the perspective of consumer welfare. From this angle, the evidence of success of the reform paradigm, as evaluated up to around 2007, seems more limited than expected. Possible reasons and remedies are discussed. The main argument of the book is that, to a certain extent, network industries are ‘political’. Their services are related to important economic welfare issues that are the core of the European social model and of the “EU 2020” goals. Thus, any rethinking on the ownership, structure, and performance of these industries should consider the reasons why energy, telecommunications, transport, water, and some other services still pose special challenges to policy-making. An imperfect competition outcome may be better or not than other forms of regulation, but does not exempt governments from their responsibilities.
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