Service public (Switzerland)

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With public service - French ; German, translated: public service , here rather: public services and public infrastructure - in Switzerland one describes the entirety of all services that the federal government, the cantons and the municipalities have to provide to the general public - in other words: the public services Hand. The task of the public service is to ensure the basic supply of the population with standard infrastructure . German administrative law also uses the term services of general interest for this .

The Federal Council defines the term as follows:

"Service public comprises a politically defined basic supply of infrastructure goods and infrastructure services, which should be available for all sections of the population and regions of the country according to the same principles in good quality and at reasonable prices."

- Federal Council : Federal Council report "Basic infrastructure services (public service)"

Task sharing

With the public service, there is a typical Swiss division of tasks. At the federal level, it includes general federal administration, post, telecommunications, electronic media (television and radio), public transport and, in some cases, road construction.

Cantons and municipalities, on the other hand, are responsible, for example, for health care, education, waste disposal, sometimes road construction and other tasks defined as basic services (water, electricity, etc.).

Basic services and privatization

However, this does not mean that the entire politically defined basic supply of goods and services must be provided by state-owned companies. In addition, in the last fifteen years some of the former public companies have been partially or wholly privatized .

Typical examples of this are the former armaments companies (now RUAG ), the Swiss Federal Railways ( SBB) , a number of hospitals, the ÖKK health insurance company , Swisscom (formerly part of the state PTT ) and numerous regional transport companies (e.g. the Lucerne transport company ).

Today, many public service tasks are advertised publicly and internationally. The previous operating company is then in competition with new providers. Typical examples are regional or local bus routes.

Discussion about the public service

The public service is an ongoing controversial topic in Swiss politics . While many neo - liberal -minded politicians want to leave as little as possible to the public sector and believe that private companies could also or better provide the services and demand more competition , the trade unions and the left-wing parties see it very differently.

At the moment (2006) the main arguments are about the complete privatization of Swisscom, in which the state holds the majority, and about the privatization of Swiss Post (currently 100 percent owned by the federal government). In 2008, broadband internet access was included in the Swiss catalog of basic services. The guaranteed basic supply is now at least 2000  kilobits per second (kBit / s) when downloading and 200 kBit / s when uploading; an increase to 3000/300 was planned for 2018; another one to 10000/1000 is announced for 2020.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Basic coverage in the telecommunications sector. Website of the Swiss Federal Administration, accessed on October 5, 2015 .
  2. Consultation on the adjustment of the basic service in the telecommunications sector. Retrieved October 5, 2015 .
  3. Federal Department for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication: Faster Internet for basic services from 2020. In: . October 30, 2019, accessed November 3, 2019 .