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Public-private partnership

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) describe a form of cooperation between public authorities and economic operators. The primary aims of this cooperation are to fund, construct, renovate or operate an infrastructure, or the provision of a service. PPPs are prevalent in infrastrucuture/critical infrastructure sectors such as transport, public health, education, national security, waste management, and water and energy distribution.

At European level, they help implement the European Initiative for Growth and Trans-European Transport Networks.

PPPs are characterized by:

  • the duration of the relationship between the partners;
  • the method of funding the project;
  • the role of the partners in the definition of objectives, design, completion, implementation and funding;
  • the distribution of risks.

The European Commission distinguishes two types of PPP:

  • PPPs of a purely contractual nature (the partnership is based solely on contractual links and may fall within the scope of European directives on public procurement);
  • PPPs of an institutional nature (these involve cooperation within a distinct entity and may lead to the creation of an ad-hoc entity held jointly by the public sector and the private sector or the control of a public entity by a private operator).


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