June 05, 2008

Services of general interest

Nine major French and German associations of local authorities and public enterprises have officially affirmed their common concerns over the organisation and development of local public services and urged the creation of an EU legal framework for public investments. A joint declaration entitled ‘More legal certainty for local authorities and local public enterprises in the European internal market’ calls for the local authority roles of providing high quality, on-site public services which are adapted to citizens’ needs and accessible to all, to be facilitated by having the freedom and means to plan, finance, administer and carry out such services. This declaration is in line with the Charter of Local Self-Government as recognised by a Treaty of Lisbon Protocol on services of general economic interest which seeks to strengthen the role of municipalities in Europe. The main recommendations are: · matters of intermunicipal cooperation, even where contracts are awarded, should be decided upon within the national system(s) without coming under internal market law including Community rules on public procurement; · the definition of ‘in-house’ contract awards must be clarified – ideally through the new regulation on public passenger transport services; · the Commission’s February 2008 Communication on institutional public private partnerships (IPPPs) satisfactorily recognises the diversity of instruments available to local officials to deliver services but these need to be legally secured; · the Communication’s differentiation of the legislation applicable to public contract awards and of public service concessions is welcome but no European legislation is necessary for the latter. This may be only the first step as the consortium has called for closer involvement of the European Parliament through the co-decision procedure and may yet “defend these common concerns together in Brussels” by mobilising associations of local authorities and public enterprises from throughout the Union. http://www.rgre.de/pdf/erkl_daseinsvorsorge_en.pdf

Posted by iroronan at June 5, 2008 04:41 PM

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