Liechtenstein’s public sector makes an effort to become more digital, efficient, and citizen-friendly. These efforts have been successful in some areas but less so in others. Zukunft.li has made some suggestions for improvement.
A study by Zukunft.li called “Service public: weniger Staat – mehr privat” (service public: less government – more private) looked at the five biggest infrastructure providers in Liechtenstein and their ability to meet the future needs of Liechtenstein’s population. The conclusion: There is room for improvements.
Liechtenstein’s postal service is facing challenges due to the competition of digital service providers. It will become increasingly difficult for the company to provide the current public service standard on its own. Mailing revenues decline, the trend toward e-billing is gaining momentum, and efforts are also underway to ensure that letters from public authorities are increasingly sent electronically in the future. Online and mobile banking are becoming increasingly easy to use, and the yellow deposit booklet is becoming obsolete. Zukunft.li recommends reducing the public service mandate to the minimum required in a digital world and – once the postal market has been liberalized – putting it out to tender in the same way as other sectors (e.g., public transport or telecommunications).
The telecommunications sector is already much more privatized than the postal sector. This, combined with technological advancements, has led to a very competitive market. There are now eight competitors vying for customers in Liechtenstein, so Telecom’s market share in the primary service areas is falling continuously. Zukunft.li believes it is time for the state to withdraw from this market and give it completely into private hands.
Climate policy considerations play a crucial role in the gas sector. The Paris Climate Agreement signed by Liechtenstein sets the pace. To completely switch from fossil to renewable energies by 2050, a significant change is needed in Liechtenstein’s gas sector. Zukunft.li believes that to achieve the climate goals, the expansion of the gas grid must be stopped, and the expansion of the heating grids must be accelerated.
The electricity sector is also undergoing major changes due to climate policy considerations. A switch to more renewable energy is also making the security of supply more difficult. Zukunft.li recommends a higher degree of self-sufficiency and building a smart grid.
LIEmobil is a leanly structured public enterprise that awards most of the transport service contracts to private companies. Zukunft.li believes Liechtenstein has chosen an organizational form that is efficient and promotes competition. However, traffic density during rush hours is becoming an increasing challenge. If buses are stuck in traffic jams and therefore cannot make connections, acceptance dwindles. Therefore, it is important to ensure that traffic also flows better at rush hour – one approach would be to introduce the road pricing system that Zukunft.li presented at the beginning of 2020.
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