The extensive re-municipalisations in the water sector and France and the energy sector in Germany are a reflection of common political and economic factors. The most important of these are the greater efficiency of public sector provision, and the greater degree of control over the effective achievement of public policy objectives. These are closely related to the historic factors driving public ownership in the 19th and 20th century. A distinctive feature of this 21st century tendency is the prominent role of green parties and environmental policies. The public sector paradigm has historically shown a remarkable resilience, underpinning the development of European public services for almost a century, compared to the three decades of domination by the market paradigm and its currently vacillating foundations.