The directive 2014/23/EU on the award of concession contracts came into force in April 2014. Within the next two years it must be transposed into national legislation.
Concessions are forms of partnerships between the public sector and mostly private companies for example in the development of infrastructure. Concessions are used in vital sectors of the economy, for example the provision of transport, waste management, energy and heating facilities and car parks. Concessions differ from public contracts. In a public contract a fixed payment for completing the required work or service is awarded. In a concession, an economic operator receives substantial remuneration through being permitted to run the work or service.
These new rules have been implemented because the preceding legal framework was fragmented and lacking clarity. This implementation brings legal certainty, transparency, flexibility, impartiality and judicial protection with it, thus optimizing the procedure of concessions and distinguishing it from public contracts.