Governmental Responsibilities in a Small State. A Comparative Legal Analysis

Which tasks must a state carry out on a mandatory basis? This question is particularly pertinent in a small state such as Liechtenstein. After all, resources are limited in small communities and Liechtenstein is used to working with its neighbours.

The project "Governmental Responsibilities in a Small State" analyses the economic activities of Liechtenstein's public enterprises and the public tasks delegated to private companies. It focuses on the analysis of Liechtenstein law, EEA law and other international agreements. Due to the limited financial as well as human resources and possible bias, the question arises whether the Liechtenstein rules allow for independent selection of the persons entrusted with the tasks and careful monitoring. Moreover, there is no guarantee that competition will be established in a small State. It must therefore be examined whether the international rules sufficiently take into account the special circumstances of small states.

The question as to which tasks a state must carry out on a mandatory basis and may neither be handed over to private persons at home nor assigned to organisations abroad will accompany the entire work.

The investigations will be carried out using legal methods (analysis of materials, of decrees, literature and case law from Liechtenstein, the EFTA Court, etc.). Of course, current political discussions are taken into account and comparative law is applied.

In 2023, it became apparent that one dissertation could not be completed. The other is expected to be completed in 2024.

Based on the question of which tasks a state must perform, Patricia Schiess turned to the topic of media and published a short paper on the guidelines for the regulation of public broadcasting and media funding in Liechtenstein in autumn 2023. In 2024, she will publish a comprehensive comparative law publication on this topic.

The project was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF (project number 10001C_173313) from October 2017 to September 2020.