Privatised public services have become a fact of daily life, in these times of budget constraints and concerns about government efficiency. There is much debate, however, as to what government activities should be entrusted to the private sector. Politicians are unsure whether public goods can be provided at quality and price levels acceptable to the general public. Moreover, there is a need to study the governance structures and legal framework of privatised government activities that range from public-private partnerships to private companies supplying services under a private-law contract. It is against this background that we present a series of articles, marking a starting point in an as yet open debate where aspects of public, competition and contract laws overlap.