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 8: France and Italy

Thomas Krumm

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


With some institutional features similar to the UK and Portugal, France (at least theoretically) might be a promising PPP candidate. The semi-presidential system of France has – similarly to the system in the UK – been highly centralized for a long time. A first attempt at decentralization was introduced between 1982 and 1984 by the newly elected François Mitterrand, the first socialist president of the Fifth Republic. However, more influential has been the constitutional reform of 2002, in which the regions and their powers for the first time were mentioned in the constitution (Article 72). The municipalities, departments and regions have direct contacts to the central level and have no hierarchical powers among themselves. The regions, for instance, are in charge of policy coordination of the departments and the municipalities, of deliberating on regional development goals and programmes and coordinating inter-regional measures (Zimmermann-Steinhart/Kazmeier 2010: 178). Whereas the regional presidents are elected by the regional assemblies, the prefects of the regions and departments are appointed by central government. At department level the most powerful person is the elected president of the general council (conseil général). At central level, the Senators of the second chamber are indirectly elected by the territorial collectivies; the Senate is less powerful than the National Assembly, which is elected with qualified majority in the first ballot, and simple majority in case of a second ballot. The directly elected, powerful president appoints the prime minister; however, he cannot dismiss him or her without the dissolution of parliament.

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