The Privatisation and Nationalisation of European Roads

The Privatisation and Nationalisation of European Roads

Success and Failure in Public–Private Partnerships

Daniel Albalate

This distinctive and timely book examines the current state and trends in the ownership, management and financing of European high capacity roads. Offering an analysis of three pioneer countries in road privatization, Spain, France and Italy, from their origins to their recent developments, it evaluates how the design of privatisation policies may lead to their success or failure.

Chapter 4: The design of public-private collaboration

Daniel Albalate

Subjects: environment, transport, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, transport

Extract

Although the term public-private partnership (PPP) has gained prominence in recent years, the theoretical concept behind PPPs is not new in the context of relations between the public and the private sectors. In fact, PPPs in the form of concessions are long-established. However, not all PPPs are concessions. On the contrary, they include a broad spectrum of agreements between governments and the private sector for the provision of goods and services. In this regard, the study of joint government and private initiatives has resulted in the identification of different types of agreement that transcend the traditional pure public provision agreements or standard contracting-out (procurement) models, in which the government is responsible for most of a project's tasks and bears all or most of its risks. The term 'PPP' is, therefore, useful for understanding the nature of relationships involving the rights, duties and risks of privatisation policies that do not terminate with the transfer of assets to the private sector, and which are not established by the contracting-out method. For this reason, privatisation policies, understood as the classical transfer of assets from the state to the private sector, fall outside a strict definition of PPPs. Likewise, classical contracting-out policies for the provision of goods and services also fail to satisfy the conditions of privatisation policies that can be defined as public-private partnerships.

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