European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2019
Legal Relationships between Public
Service Operators, Users and Third Parties
Abstract: In this article, we analyse the legal nature of the relations between the local public administration
authorities or, as the case may be, between the intercommunity developments associations with the purpose of
public utilities and users. Law no. 51/2006 on community services of public utilities establishes that they are
subject to legal norms of public or private law, as the case may be. Therefore, the objectives of this paper are
to identify the two categories of legal norms applicable to public utilities in the Community, as well as the
modalities for regulating legal relations between public utility operators and users of these services, based on
the analysis of legal texts, doctrine and jurisprudence.
Keywords: public services; users; legal relations; public service contract
At present, the community services of public utilities are regulated by a normative act of general
character, namely Law no. 51/2006, as well as by a series of normative acts of special character, among
which: Law no. 101/2006 regarding the sanitation service of the localities; Law no. 241/2006 regarding
the water supply and sewerage service; Law on the Public Power Supply Service no. 325/2006; Law no.
230/2006 regarding the public lighting service; Law on local public transport services no. 92/20072.
Public utilities3 are organized and managed in accordance with the legal provisions, according to the
decisions adopted by the deliberative authorities of the administrative-territorial units, given the degree
1 Professor, PhD, „Danubius” University of Galati, Romania. Address: 3 Galati Boulevard, 800654 Galati, Romania. Tel.: +40
0733 180 305, Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 In November 2018, a draft Government Decision for the approval of the Preliminary Theses of the draft Community Services
Code for Public Utilities “was launched in a public debate”, able to facilitate the implementation of the Strategy for
Strengthening Public Administration 2014-2020, approved by the Government Decision no. 909/2014, as amended.” As stated
in the project, “The Community Services Code of Public Utilities will take into account:
a) the definition of the community service of public utilities, taking into account both the national tradition and the legislation
of the European Union and the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as the definition of other
fundamental concepts for the area concerned: services of general economic interest, obligations of public service, etc.;
b) regulating and defining the principles underlying the organization and delivery of public services (e.g. the principle of equal
treatment, the principle of continuity, the principle of adaptability, the principle of accessibility, the principle of solidarity, the
principle of regionalization, the principle of cost coverage, the principle of supportability, the principle of polluter pays,
c) inclusion of details on the establishment and functioning of community services of public utilities;
d) regulating, in some chapters, the general aspects regarding the community services of public utilities, as well as the
normative solutions applicable to each community utility of public utilities”. See also (Negruţ, 2008, pp. 99-104).
3 According to art. 1 par. (2) of the Law no. 51/2006, through the community services of public utilities, it is intended to meet
the essential needs of general social utility and public interest of the local communities with regard to: water supply; purge and