The public sector in mainland Europe - Business Environment

Given the number of countries involved, it is impossible to survey the whole of the public sector in the rest of Europe. Students with an interest in this area are encouraged to read further and to consult the various specialist sources of information covering the countries they wish to investigate. A number of general points, however, are worthy of note:

  1. Public sector business organisations can be found in all countries and invariably exist because of the decision by the state to establish a particular organization under state ownership and control, or to nationalize an existing private business.
  2. In some countries (e.g. France, Greece, Portugal) the state has traditionally played an important role in business and still controls some key sectors of the economy.
  3. State involvement in business often includes significant share holdings in a number of large enterprises, not only by the national government but also by regional and/or local government (e.g. in Germany).
  4. State intervention often occurs in organisations or industries which can be deemed ‘problematic’ (e.g. in Greece).


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