Companies in regulated sectors and the health/economic crisis

Conference Chair Debate

,   -
FORMAT MIXTE / SEMI-PRESENTIEL Salle Raymond Aron, Université Paris Dauphine-PSL ou en ligne sur Teams

Inaugural workshop of the research programme "Les évolutions de la régulation économique au prisme des entreprises des secteurs régulés", organised in 6 workshops and chaired by Claudie Boiteau, Professor of Public Law, Centre de Recherche Droit Dauphine (CR2D), Université Paris Dauphine-PSL, associate professor at the Governance and Regulation Chair.

This first workshop was organised on 29 September 2021 with the Governance and Regulation Chair.

Economic regulation is no exception to the "world after" debate.
The health crisis, which at the very least led to a very sharp slowdown in the economy, and whose consequences are still difficult to assess, has necessitated in all countries, over and above public aid, the development of vast economic recovery plans which necessarily raise questions about the role of public authorities. Although the expression "paradigm shift" has sometimes been used too loosely, it is nonetheless likely that this is what will be required in the regulated sectors that have highlighted the importance of essential activities: electricity distribution and supply, communications and, more generally, the Internet, transport, waste collection and treatment, etc. These activities are the levers that enable the public sector to adapt to the new economic environment.
These activities are the levers that will enable society to overcome the economic and social consequences of the pandemic. It is therefore vital to ensure that the legal and regulatory environment is appropriate to their functions, which have been exacerbated by the crisis. Does the health crisis and its impact on the functioning of essential activities imply a change in economic regulation, or does it merely reveal and accelerate a movement that was already underway?

The regulatory frameworks put in place from the 90s onwards, when the primary objective was to build single, competitive markets, are being challenged, whatever the sector, by new public interest concerns that are guiding public policy, such as the ecological transition, digital technology, security and the renovation of industrial networks.... These are all concerns that now take precedence over purely competitive objectives, and are leading us to rethink the traditional model of regulation.
In this context, the analysis of how to restore the validity of regulation and its methods must be based on a calm dialogue between the companies in the regulated sectors, who are the objects and actors of regulation, and their regulators.
This is the aim of this first workshop, which inaugurates a broader research programme on "Changes in economic regulation through the prism of companies in regulated sectors".

Below is a summary of the event and a replay of the video:

Download here the summary of the inaugural workshop on 29.09.21

Watch the full replay of the inaugural workshop on YouTube

2nd Workshop: 18 November 2021

Structure of the independent economic regulator: what institutional balance? 

Chaired by Aurore Laget-Annamayer, Professor of Public Law at the University of Rouen

The aim of this new Workshop is to re-examine the independence of economic regulatory authorities. While the legal independence of regulatory authorities is a given, we will be looking in particular at whether it should be enhanced by greater economic independence.

More generally, we will discuss the institutional balances that are being created with the other institutions involved in the regulatory function and which are likely to strengthen the independence of the regulatory authorities.

3rd Workshop: 9 December 2021

Contracts and companies in regulated sectors

Chaired by Philippe Terneyre, Professor of Public Law at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour.

The relationship between regulation and contract is not self-evident, and may even appear at first sight to be an antinomy. Admittedly, liberal economic theory has founded a contractual model of regulation, and contracts are the cornerstone of a 'market order'. On the other hand, when regulation is considered - and this is our hypothesis - as a function of public power entrusted in whole or in part to independent authorities, the place of the contract no longer seems so central.

Yet regulated sectors are surrounded by a world of contractual relationships.

Contractual issues in regulated sectors are characterised by a wide variety of contracts and contracting parties. Moreover, the performance of these contracts raises a number of issues, particularly with regard to the guiding principles of contract law and the possible intervention of the regulator. As for the settlement of the contractual disputes concerned, this combines all forms of settlement and raises the question of the optimal methods to adopt.

Workshop closed by invitation

Discover the summary of the workshop

4th Workshop: 22 March 2022

Standards and companies in regulated sectors

Chaired by Pascale Idoux Professor of Public Law at the University of Montpellier

The normative power of regulatory authorities is now a classic subject. As they generally have supplementary regulatory powers, the regulatory authorities make extensive use of flexible law to carry out their tasks.

Opinions, recommendations, communications, warnings, positions, guidelines, etc. are all acts that the authorities prefer to binding acts. The procedures for judicial review of these acts have gradually been clarified, and the Gisti ruling in June 2020 refines a long process of case law development.

Has the subject of "new norms" come to an end?

Shouldn't the exercise of quasi-regulatory powers be better supervised and subject to a new legal review? For example, is asymmetric regulation decided by the regulatory authority conceivable without a legislative framework to allow it?

Guidelines and directives, which are non-binding but so widely followed, raise the question of their legality. How does the regulatory authority, in its role as judge, react to guidelines that are respected but whose legality it doubts?

Certain practices, which can be grouped together under the heading of "regulatory incentives", use reputation as a lever, upstream of the desired behaviour. How far can 'name and shame' go?

Above all, how do companies in regulated sectors react to these regulatory methods, which are based on forms of normativity that, for some of them, straddle the line between incentive and coercion?

This is the subject of the 4th Workshop in the "Changes in economic regulation through the prism of companies in regulated sectors" programme.

Workshop closed by invitation

Subsequent workshops in the research programme :    

Workshop 5 - Companies in regulated sectors and data
Chaired by Thierry Tuot, Deputy Chairman of the Interior Section of the Conseil d'Etat, Chairman of CoRDIS, Associate Professor at Université Paris-Dauphine PSL, 
Workshop 6 - Companies in regulated sectors and judges

Nos communautés

  • Dauphine 300.png
  • Fondation 300.png
  • SIOE_logo_RGB_0.png
  • oecd_logo_0.png

Nos partenaires

Les entreprises

  • ASFA_Log_CRVB_0.png
  • Ecologic-logo-rvb.png
  • logo_GROUPE_ADP_cmjn_0.png
  • RATP couleur grise.jpg
  • RTE_logo+signD_CMJN_CS4 - Copie_0.png
  • Le+logotype_0_0.png


Les institutions publiques

  • logo_conseil_2009_fr_gris_0.png
  • Logo_CGE-01_0_0.png
  • Cour des Comptes_0_0.png


Les experts


Les membres du Club des régulateurs

  • ACPR
  • ANJ
  • ARCEP new-court_2.png
  • logo_ART_cmjn.png
  • Logo DGAC_quadri_0.png