Region: Europe and Central Asia
Sectors: Subnational and Municipal
In France, PPPs can be concluded through several contractual forms: (i) public service delegations and (ii) partnership contracts.
Delegations of public services are classified as administrative contracts that can be concluded by public entities for the delivery of a service of public interest. There is no explicit legal definition of the various possible contractual forms - although four of them emerge from various texts and the practice and case law: concession (whereby the private party bears the financial burden associated to the initial cost of the infrastructure and to its maintenance, and operates at its own risk), lease (affermage - whereby the private party bears the financial burden associated to the maintenance of the infrastructure and operates at its own risk) and management contracts (régie - whereby a public authority delegates the management of a service but assumes all risks associated to it - participation to results is also possible) - and gérance (which is very close to régie although tariffs are fixed by the contracting authority). Partnership contracts refer to a method of financing of public infrastructure - whereby private parties will in principle be paid directly by the contracting public authority, not users. An overview is available on the website of the department of Isère.
Public service delegations and partnership contracts can be concluded by a series of public bodies - from central to decentralized authorities. Decentralized authorities (collectivités territoriales) include municipalities, departments, regions and other specific entities. See Les modes de gestion des services publics locaux .
A series of legal texts regulates how they are governed (those texts have been consolidated in the Code Général des Collectivités Territoriales) and define in particular the conditions under which they can have recourse to PPPs.
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Updated: October 5, 2021