The Slovenia Times

MPs transpose directive on concession contracts


The EU defines concessions as partnerships between the public sector and mostly private companies, where these exclusively carry out the development of infrastructure or provide services of general economic interest.

The new legislation will apply to contracts on concessions granted by public institutions to build infrastructure and deliver services.

The threshold for the law to apply to a concession contract is 5.5 million euro.

Concession contracts cannot apply to services or infrastructure defined as exceptions, such as water supply, electronic communications, passenger transport etc.

Finance Ministry State Secretary Metod Dragonja explained the bill sets down rules which apply to the process of selecting concession holders.

It also defines the manner in which the contract is implemented with sub-contractors and how the very contract is written or changed.

It however does not oblige a public institution to award a concession if it can provide a service or build infrastructure on its own, explained Dragonja.

The new law does not change how the state grants a company the right to manage a natural resource, for which the term concession is also used in Slovenia.

All coalition parties and the opposition NSi had announced support for the bill in the debate, with three opposition parties expressing opposition.

The ruling Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) welcomed it for expanding the list of public institutions that can award concessions.

While only the state and municipalities can do so now, the new law also gives this right to public institutes, public companies and some other business entities such as motorway company DARS and national grid operator ELES.

The opposition NSi welcomed the bill by saying it would enable Slovenian companies to enter the common EU concession market under the same conditions.

The opposition SDS and the Left, but also the coalition SMC, called for making rules governing concessions more transparent.

The SMC called on the Finance Ministry to revive efforts to comprehensively regulate the field of concessions, since the newest law make concession awarding less transparent.

The opposition Left added that awarding concessions to private companies amounted to hidden privatisation.

The passage of the bill comes after the country was late in transposing the directive, which should have been incorporated into national law by 18 April 2016.

If the EU's Court of Justice rules on its non-implementation before the new bill takes effect, Slovenia will pay a fine of nearly 9,000 euro per each day the directive is not fully transposed.


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