P22 Public Enterprise and the Sustainable Development Goals

Corresponding and Review Group Chair

Eoin Reeves, Professor, University of Limerick, Ireland. Eoin.reeves@ul.ie


Dorothea Grieling, Univ-Prof. Dr. Professor, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Christina Schaefer, Univ-Prof. Dr. Professor, Helmut Schmidt Universitat, Hamburg, Germany


Public enterprise (at the State-owned and Municipal levels) continues to make a significant contribution to economies around the world.  Notwithstanding decades of privatisation and liberalisation the fundamental rationales for the existence of public enterprise remain applicable.  Public enterprise (PE) is still widely used for the purpose of addressing market failures such as public goods and externalities.  In addition, PEs are assigned the task of providing services of general interest such as postal services and public transport. 

The public mission of public enterprise is nevertheless ever-evolving and this is brought into sharp focus by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  PEs clearly have a major role to play in achieving most SDGs including Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Climate Action and Sustainable Cities and Communities. 

This panel invites contributions that cover different questions concerning PE and the SDGs.  Potential questions to be addressed in single country or international comparative studies include:

  • The evolution of public missions assigned to PEs since the adoption of the SDGs in 2015.
  • How do PEs incorporate the SDGs into their public missions, strategies and activities?
  • What are the implications of the SDGs for the performance of PE?
  • In the context of the SDGs, how should PE performance be measured and reported?
  • What are the implications of the SDGs for the accountabilities and governance of PE?
  • How do PEs collaborate (with private companies, not-for-profits and citizen networks etc.) to achieve SDGs?