The Politics of Public–Private Partnerships in Western Europe

The Politics of Public–Private Partnerships in Western Europe

Comparative Perspectives

Thomas Krumm

This comprehensive book provides a comparative policy analysis of public-private partnerships in 14 Western European countries from Scandinavia to Greece, bringing together insights from government, economics and politics. Thomas Krumm describes and analyses the forms and extents of collaboration between the state and private sector organisations, focusing on political drivers for a policy change in favour of PPP and the supportive and limiting socioeconomic and institutional conditions. Using comparative data, the author charts key policies and actors involved in supporting collaboration between the state and private business organisations across these countries.

Chapter 7: Germany and Austria

Thomas Krumm

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy

Extract

Whereas Germany started its PPP policy after the takeover of the red–green coalition government in 1998, in Austria it began with the incoming centre-right government in early 2000. At federal level in Germany, large projects such as ‘Toll Collect’, the satellite-based calculation of truck tolls, the modernization of the computer and telecom infrastructure at the armed forces and the armed forces carpool contributed to a considerable amount of investment. At the level of states (i.e. state level), some governments were inclined towards PPP, too. In Austria, due to frequently practised ‘grand coalitions’ at the national level and oversized proportionality cabinets at the state level, PPP never did receive much political support – except from the …VP (Austrian People’s Party) led Schüssel cabinets commencing in 2000. In contrast to the ‘model pupils’ such as the UK and Portugal, the political system of Germany includes some institutional features which do not favour a quick policy change towards a high level PPP involvement. Firstly, Germany is a federal state comprising 16 states of various population size and economic capacity. Each state has its own parliament and government, with the governments sending delegates to the second chamber, the Federal Council (Bundesrat). Via the Federal Council, states have relatively broad opportunities to suspend or even completely veto legislation which touches the interests of the states. Until the federal reform of 2006, up to 60 per cent of federal legislation needed the consent of the second chamber.

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