When Public is no Longer Enough: Third and Fourth Sector and Public Law

In the last decades, many new business forms, aiming at answering the needs of shares of the population, that usually were considered mainly by the public sector, flourished, composing the so-called Third Sector.
According to many scholars, a so-called Fourth Sector is now rising too, which combines the profit purpose (Second Sector), and some common features of the Third Sector: benefit corporations are usually seen as a part of this new partition.
The paper analyzes a few intersections of the referred phenomena with public law, in particular with reference to the regulatory framework and the added value that private organizations could imply in responding to social demands. Finally, I consider a few profiles of European Law, with reference to those aspects of competition law (European Court of Justice case law) present when Public Administrations prefer no-profit parties when choose who must perform a specific range of services