Discussion Papers

Wolrad Rommel

Die Reform des Post- und Fernmeldewesens in Frankreich - Eine Darstellung mit vergleichenden Hinweisen auf das deutsche Poststrukturgesetz
Nr. 63 / März 1991


France's telecommunications and postal administration has recently changed. Since January 1, 1991, the public telecommunications operator France Télécom and the postal administration La Poste are organized as public entreprises. Both are legal persons under public law. Their economic management runs independently of the state budget. They are controled by the French Government. The new Postal and Telecommunications Or-ganization Act determines the scope of functions which La Poste and France Télécom have to perform. Furthermore, a book of duties (Cahier de Charges) describes more pre-cisely what sort of duties and rights the two entreprises have to fulfill. Each of them negotiates with the government an economic plan of several years which outlines the scope for tariffs, investments and strategies. A telecommunications reform completes the restructuring of France's telecommunications and postal administration. The french par-liament passed a telecommunications bill in December 1990. This law regulates the spe-cific licensing conditions for private operators and defines the area of reserved services.

In comparison with the results of the french reform, the german Poststrukturgesetz re-veals two fundamental differences. Firstly, the Federal Government has conceived its re-form of the telecommunications market on the basis of the principle that competition should be increase to benefit from its innovative effects. The french reform are on the de-fensive as regards competition. There is less room to move for private operators in France. Secondly, the german reform transforms the organizational form of tele-communications and postal administration as a traditional administrative authority into a new corporate structure. The Postverfassung defines exactly the rights of the Minister and the Federal Government in respect of the entreprises of the Deutsche Bundespost. Only the monopoly area can be regulated by instructions. The french reform does not know such restrictions. According to their political will, the french Government and the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications can extensively control, on the basis of the book of duties and the economic plan, business activities and management of France Télécom and La Poste.

[Only German language version available.]

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