Our public service missions

We have a special place in the hearts of the French people, not just due to our six decades of history, but because La Poste remains an iconic service which the French people still find useful. For proof, look no further than the fact that we have been voted the most useful company in France (Study "Usefulness 2017" / IFOP – Terre de Sienne).

Having started out state-run (under the name “PTT”), in 1991 we became a Public Industrial and Commercial Establishment. We then developed into a public-owned limited company in 2010. The French government is our majority shareholder, with 74% of shares. The other 26% are held by the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.

Thanks to our original model, we can provide the four public service missions for which the French government made us responsible in the law of 2 July 1990 and which are the cornerstones of our identity: the universal postal service, contributing to regional planning, Banking accessibility and press transportation and delivery (see the link below).

Four missions that meet needs of general interest

But what exactly is a “public service mission”?

It’s an activity carried out by or on behalf of a public authority (in this case the French government). The aim is to meet a need in the public interest. In La Poste’s case, this means working to serve the French people six days a week. It means ensuring post and parcels are collected and delivered throughout the country. It’s about helping the quality press remain sustainable and facilitating the spread of ideas. It means ensuring everyone has access to a bank.

A unique postal model was born out of this close relationship with the French government. This model allows us to serve the French people six days a week, to ensure post and parcels are collected and delivered throughout the country, to help the quality press remain sustainable and facilitate the spread of ideas, and to ensure everyone has access to a bank.

These missions are detailed in a text linking La Poste and the French government: the service contract.

Because La Poste keeps pace with society, this contract is updated every five years and signed by representatives of the two parties. The goal? To offer local services in keeping with the main principles of public service.

The three main principles of the public service

Equality

Every person should be treated in the same way

Continuity

Public services should operate without interruption

Changeability

Public services must adapt to society’s developing needs

Yes, La Poste is changing. It is developing, giving employees new responsibilities and innovating. However, one goal lies at the heart of all this change: to make French people’s lives easier.

The public service missions of La Poste