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Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the CouncilShow full title

Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the award of concession contracts (Text with EEA relevance)

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Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council

of 26 February 2014

on the award of concession contracts

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 53(1) and Articles 62 and 114 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(3),

Whereas:

(1) The absence of clear rules at Union level governing the award of concession contracts gives rise to legal uncertainty and to obstacles to the free provision of services and causes distortions in the functioning of the internal market. As a result, economic operators, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are being deprived of their rights within the internal market and miss out on important business opportunities, while public authorities may not find the best use of public money so that Union citizens benefit from quality services at best prices. An adequate, balanced and flexible legal framework for the award of concessions would ensure effective and non-discriminatory access to the market to all Union economic operators and legal certainty, favouring public investments in infrastructures and strategic services to the citizen. Such a legal framework would also afford greater legal certainty to economic operators and could be a basis for and means of further opening up international public procurement markets and boosting world trade. Particular importance should be given to improving the access opportunities of SMEs throughout the Union concession markets.

(2) The rules of the legislative framework applicable to the award of concessions should be clear and simple. They should duly reflect the specificity of concessions as compared to public contracts and should not create an excessive amount of bureaucracy.

(3) Public procurement plays a key role in the Europe 2020 strategy, set out in the Commission Communication of 3 March 2010 entitled ‘Europe 2020, a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (the ‘Europe 2020 strategy’), as one of the market-based instruments to be used to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth while ensuring the most efficient use of public funds. In this context, concession contracts represent important instruments in the long-term structural development of infrastructure and strategic services, contributing to the progress of competition within the internal market, making it possible to benefit from private sector expertise and helping to achieve efficiency and innovation.

(4) The award of public works concessions is presently subject to the basic rules of Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(4); while the award of services concessions with a cross-border interest is subject to the principles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and in particular the principles of free movement of goods, freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services, as well as to the principles deriving therefrom such as equal treatment, non-discrimination, mutual recognition, proportionality and transparency. There is a risk of legal uncertainty related to divergent interpretations of the principles of the Treaty by national legislators and of wide disparities among the legislations of various Member States. Such risk has been confirmed by the extensive case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union which has, nevertheless, only partially addressed certain aspects of the award of concession contracts. A uniform application of the principles of the TFEU across all Member States and the elimination of discrepancies in the understanding of those principles is necessary at Union level in order to eliminate persisting distortions of the internal market. That would also favour the efficiency of public spending, facilitate equal access and fair participation of SMEs in the award of concession contracts, both at local and Union level, and support the achievement of sustainable public policy objectives.

(5) This Directive recognises and reaffirms the right of Member States and public authorities to decide the means of administration they judge to be most appropriate for performing works and providing services. In particular, this Directive should not in any way affect the freedom of Member States and public authorities to perform works or provide services directly to the public or to outsource such provision by delegating it to third parties. Member States or public authorities should remain free to define and specify the characteristics of the services to be provided, including any conditions regarding the quality or price of the services, in accordance with Union law, in order to pursue their public policy objectives.

(6) It should be recalled that Member States are free to decide, in compliance with the principles of the TFEU on equal treatment, non-discrimination, transparency and the free movement of persons to organise the provision of services either as services of general economic interest or as non-economic services of general interest or as a mixture thereof. It should also be recalled that this Directive is without prejudice to the freedom of national, regional and local authorities to define, in conformity with Union law, services of general economic interest, their scope and the characteristics of the service to be provided, including any conditions regarding the quality of the service, in order to pursue their public policy objectives. It should also be without prejudice to the power of national, regional and local authorities to provide, commission and finance services of general economic interest in accordance with Article 14 TFEU and Protocol No 26 annexed to the TFEU and to the Treaty on European Union (TEU). In addition, this Directive does not deal with the funding of services of general economic interest or with systems of aid granted by Member States, in particular in the social field, in accordance with Union rules on competition. It is appropriate to clarify that non-economic services of general interest should not fall within the scope of this Directive.

(7) It is also appropriate to recall that this Directive should not affect the social security legislation of the Member States. Nor should it entail the liberalisation of services of general economic interest, reserved to public or private entities, or the privatisation of public entities providing services.

(8) For concessions equal to or above a certain value, it is appropriate to provide for a minimum coordination of national procedures for the award of such contracts based on the principles of the TFEU so as to guarantee the opening-up of concessions to competition and adequate legal certainty. Those coordinating provisions should not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve the aforementioned objectives and to ensure a certain degree of flexibility. Member States should be allowed to complete and develop further those provisions if they find it appropriate, in particular to better ensure compliance with the principles set out above.

(9) It should be clarified that groups of economic operators, including where they have come together in the form of a temporary association, may participate in award procedures without it being necessary for them to take on a specific legal form. To the extent that that is necessary, for instance where joint and several liability is required, a specific form may be required when such groups are awarded the concession. It should also be clarified that contracting authorities or contracting entities should be able to set out explicitly how groups of economic operators are to meet the requirements concerning economic and financial standing, or the criteria relating to technical and professional ability which are required of economic operators participating on their own. The performance of concession contracts by groups of economic operators may necessitate setting conditions which are not imposed on individual participants. Such conditions, which should be justified by objective reasons and be proportionate, could for instance include requiring the appointment of a joint representation or a lead partner for the purposes of the concession award procedure or requiring information on their constitution.

(10) Certain coordination provisions should also be introduced for the award of works and services concessions in the energy, transport and postal services sectors, given that national authorities may influence the behaviour of entities operating in those sectors, and taking into account the closed nature of the markets in which they operate, due to the existence of special or exclusive rights granted by the Member States concerning the supply to, provision or operation of networks for providing the services concerned.

(11) Concessions are contracts for pecuniary interest by means of which one or more contracting authorities or contracting entities entrusts the execution of works, or the provision and the management of services, to one or more economic operators. The object of such contracts is the procurement of works or services by means of a concession, the consideration of which consists in the right to exploit the works or services or in that right together with payment. Such contracts may, but do not necessarily, involve a transfer of ownership to contracting authorities or contracting entities, but contracting authorities or contracting entities always obtain the benefits of the works or services in question.

(12) For the purpose of this Directive, it should be clarified that the mere financing, in particular through grants, of an activity, which is frequently linked to the obligation to reimburse the amounts received where they are not used for the purposes intended, does not fall under the scope of this Directive.

(13) Furthermore, arrangements where all operators fulfilling certain conditions are entitled to perform a given task, without any selectivity, such as customer choice and service voucher systems, should not qualify as concessions, including those based on legal agreements between the public authority and the economic operators. Such systems are typically based on a decision by a public authority defining the transparent and non-discriminatory conditions on the continuous access of economic operators to the provision of specific services, such as social services, allowing customers to choose between such operators.

(14) In addition, certain Member State acts such as authorisations or licences, whereby the Member State or a public authority thereof establishes the conditions for the exercise of an economic activity, including a condition to carry out a given operation, granted, normally, on request of the economic operator and not on the initiative of the contracting authority or the contracting entity and where the economic operator remains free to withdraw from the provision of works or services, should not qualify as concessions. In the case of those Member State acts, the specific provisions of Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(5) apply. In contrast to those Member State acts, concession contracts provide for mutually binding obligations where the execution of the works or services are subject to specific requirements defined by the contracting authority or the contracting entity, which are legally enforceable.

(15) In addition, certain agreements having as their object the right of an economic operator to exploit certain public domains or resources under private or public law, such as land or any public property, in particular in the maritime, inland ports or airports sector, whereby the State or contracting authority or contracting entity establishes only general conditions for their use without procuring specific works or services, should not qualify as concessions within the meaning of this Directive. This is normally the case with public domain or land lease contracts which generally contain terms concerning entry into possession by the tenant, the use to which the property is to be put, the obligations of the landlord and tenant regarding the maintenance of the property, the duration of the lease and the giving up of possession to the landlord, the rent and the incidental charges to be paid by the tenant.

(16) In addition, agreements that grant rights of way covering the utilisation of public immovable property for the provision or operation of fixed lines or networks intended to provide a service to the public should also not be considered to be concessions within the meaning of this Directive, in so far as those agreements neither impose an obligation of supply nor involve any acquisition of services by a contracting authority or contracting entity to itself or to end users.

(17) Contracts not involving payments to the contractor and where the contractor is remunerated on the basis of the regulated tariffs, calculated so as to cover all costs and investments borne by the contractor for providing the service, should not be covered by this Directive.

(18) Difficulties related to the interpretation of the concepts of concession and public contract have generated continued legal uncertainty among stakeholders and have given rise to numerous judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Therefore, the definition of concession should be clarified, in particular by referring to the concept of operating risk. The main feature of a concession, the right to exploit the works or services, always implies the transfer to the concessionaire of an operating risk of economic nature involving the possibility that it will not recoup the investments made and the costs incurred in operating the works or services awarded under normal operating conditions even if a part of the risk remains with the contracting authority or contracting entity. The application of specific rules governing the award of concessions would not be justified if the contracting authority or contracting entity relieved the economic operator of any potential loss, by guaranteeing a minimal revenue, equal or higher to the investments made and the costs that the economic operator has to incur in relation with the performance of the contract. At the same time it should be made clear that certain arrangements which are exclusively remunerated by a contracting authority or a contracting entity should qualify as concessions where the recoupment of the investments and costs incurred by the operator for executing the work or providing the service depends on the actual demand for or the supply of the service or asset.

(19) Where sector-specific regulation eliminates the risk by providing for a guarantee to the concessionaire on breaking even on investments and costs incurred for operating the contract, such contract should not qualify as a concession within the meaning of this Directive. The fact that the risk is limited from the outset should not preclude the qualification of the contract as a concession. This can be the case for instance in sectors with regulated tariffs or where the operating risk is limited by means of contractual arrangements providing for partial compensation including compensation in the event of early termination of the concession for reasons attributable to the contracting authority or contracting entity or for reasons of force majeure.

(20) An operating risk should stem from factors which are outside the control of the parties. Risks such as those linked to bad management, contractual defaults by the economic operator or to instances of force majeure are not decisive for the purpose of classification as a concession, since those risks are inherent in every contract, whether it be a public procurement contract or a concession. An operating risk should be understood as the risk of exposure to the vagaries of the market, which may consist of either a demand risk or a supply risk, or both a demand and supply risk. Demand risk is to be understood as the risk on actual demand for the works or services which are the object of the contract. Supply risk is to be understood as the risk on the provision of the works or services which are the object of the contract, in particular the risk that the provision of the services will not match demand. For the purpose of assessment of the operating risk the net present value of all the investment, costs and revenues of the concessionaire should be taken into account in a consistent and uniform manner.

(21) The notion of ‘bodies governed by public law’ has been examined repeatedly in the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. A number of clarifications are key to the full understanding of this concept. It should therefore be clarified that a body which operates in normal market conditions, aims to make a profit, and bears the losses resulting from the exercise of its activity should not be considered to be a ‘body governed by public law’, since the needs in the general interest, that it has been set up to meet or been given the task of meeting, can be deemed to have an industrial or commercial character. Similarly, the condition relating to the origin of the funding of the body considered, has also been examined by the Court, which has clarified that financed for ‘the most part’ means for more than half and that such financing may include payments from users which are imposed, calculated and collected in accordance with rules of public law.

(22) It is appropriate to define ‘exclusive rights’ and ‘special rights’ as these notions are crucial to the scope of this Directive and the notion of contracting entities. It should be clarified that entities which are neither contracting entities pursuant to point (a) of Article 7(1) nor public undertakings are subject to its provisions only to the extent that they exercise one of the activities covered on the basis of such rights. However, they will not be considered to be contracting entities if such rights have been granted by means of a procedure based on objective criteria, in particular pursuant to Union legislation, and for which adequate publicity has been ensured. That legislation should include Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(6), Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(7), Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(8), Directive 94/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(9) and Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council(10). It should also be clarified that that listing of legislation is not exhaustive and that rights in any form, which have been granted by means of other procedures based on objective criteria and for which adequate publicity has been ensured are not relevant for the purposes of determining the contracting entities covered by this Directive.

(23) This Directive should apply only to concession contracts whose value is equal to or greater than a certain threshold, which should reflect the clear cross-border interest of concessions to economic operators located in Member States other than that of the contracting authority or contracting entity. Consequently, the method of calculating the estimated value of a concession needs to be set out, and should be identical for works and services concessions, as both contracts often cover elements of works and services. The calculation should refer to the total turnover of the concessionaire in consideration of the works and services being the object of the concession, as estimated by the contracting authority or the contracting entity, excluding VAT, over the duration of the contract.

(24) To ensure a real opening up of the market and a fair balance in the application of concession award rules in the energy, transport and postal services sectors, it is necessary for the entities covered to be identified on a basis other than their legal status. It should be ensured, therefore, that the equal treatment of contracting entities operating in the public sector and those operating in the private sector is not jeopardised. It is also necessary to ensure, in keeping with Article 345 TFEU, that the rules governing the system of property ownership in Member States are not prejudiced. For this reason, specific and uniform rules should apply to concessions awarded by entities exercising one of the abovementioned activities for purposes of pursuing such activities, independently of whether they are state, local or regional authorities, bodies governed by public law, public undertakings or other entities enjoying special or exclusive rights. Entities which are responsible, under national law, for the provision of services related to one of the activities referred to in Annex II, should be presumed to pursue such activities.

(25) It should be clarified that the relevant activity in the field of airports also covers services provided to passengers which contribute to the smooth functioning of the airport facilities and which are expected of a well-functioning modern airport, such as retailing, public catering and car parking.

(26) Certain entities are active in the fields of production, transmission or distribution of both heat and cooling. There may be some uncertainty as to which rules apply to respectively heat and cooling related activities. It should therefore be clarified that the transmission and/or distribution of heat is an activity covered by Annex II and thus entities which are active in the heating sector are subject to the rules of this Directive applicable to contracting entities in so far as they qualify as such. On the other hand, entities operating in the cooling field are subject to the rules of this Directive applicable to contracting authorities in so far as they qualify as such. It should finally be clarified that concessions awarded for the pursuit of both heating and cooling contracts should be examined under the provisions on contracts for the pursuit of several activities to determine which procurement rules, if any, will govern their award.

(27) Before envisaging any change to the scope of this Directive for the cooling sector, the situation of that sector should be examined in order to obtain sufficient information, in particular in respect of the competitive situation, the degree of cross-border procurement and the views of stakeholders. Given that the application of this Directive to the sector could have a substantial impact in terms of market-opening, that examination should be conducted when assessing the impact of this Directive.

(28) It should be clarified that for the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Annex II, ‘supply’ includes generation/production, wholesale and retail sale. However, production of gas in the form of extraction falls within the scope of paragraph 6 of that Annex.

(29) In the case of mixed contracts, the applicable rules should be determined with respect to the main subject of the contract, if the different parts which constitute the contract are objectively not separable. It should therefore be clarified how contracting authorities and contracting entities should determine whether the different parts are separable or not. Such clarification should be based on the relevant case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The determination should be carried out on a case-by-case basis, in which the expressed or presumed intentions of the contracting authority or a contracting entity to regard the various aspects making up a mixed contract as indivisible should not be sufficient, but should be supported by objective evidence capable of justifying them and of establishing the need to conclude a single contract. Such a justified need to conclude a single contract could for instance be present in the case of the construction of one single building, a part of which is to be used directly by the contracting authority concerned and another part to be operated on a concession basis, for instance to provide parking facilities to the public. It should be clarified that the need to conclude a single contract may be due to reasons both of a technical nature and of an economic nature.

(30) In the case of mixed contracts which can be separated, contracting authorities and contracting entities are always free to award separate contracts for the separate parts of the mixed contract, in which case the provisions applicable to each separate part should be determined exclusively with respect to the characteristics of that specific contract. On the other hand, where contracting authorities and contracting entities choose to award a contract including both elements of a concession and other elements, whatever their value and whatever the legal regime these elements would otherwise have been subject to, the rules applicable to such cases should be indicated. Special provision should be made for mixed contracts involving defence or security aspects or certain parts not falling within the scope of the TFEU.

(31) Concessions might be awarded by contracting entities for the purpose of meeting the requirements of several activities, possibly subject to different legal regimes. It should be clarified that the legal regime applicable to a single concession intended to cover several activities should be subject to the rules applicable to the activity for which it is principally intended. Determination of the activity for which the concession is principally intended can be based on an analysis of the requirements which the specific concession must meet, carried out by the contracting entity for the purposes of estimating the concession value and drawing up the concession award documents. In certain cases, it might be objectively impossible to determine for which activity the concession is principally intended. The rules applicable to such cases should be indicated.

(32) In certain cases, a given contracting authority or contracting entity which is a State, regional or local authority or body governed by public law or a given association thereof might be the sole source for a given service, for the provision of which it enjoys an exclusive right pursuant to national laws, regulations or published administrative provisions which are compatible with the TFEU. It should be clarified that in those situations a contracting authority or contracting entity as referred to in this recital or association thereof may award concessions to such bodies without this Directive being applied.

(33) It is also appropriate to exclude from the scope of this Directive certain services concessions awarded to economic operators, where they are awarded on the basis of an exclusive right which that operator enjoys under national laws, regulations or published administrative provisions and which has been granted in accordance with the TFEU and Union acts laying down common rules on access to the market applicable to activities referred to in Annex II, since such exclusive right makes it impossible to follow a competitive procedure for the award. By way of derogation and without prejudice to the legal consequences of the general exclusion from the scope of this Directive, concessions as referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 10(1) should be subject to the obligation to publish a concession award notice in view of ensuring basic transparency unless the conditions of such transparency are provided for in sectoral legislation. In order to reinforce transparency, where a Member State grants an exclusive right to an economic operator for the exercise of one of the activities referred to in Annex II, it should inform the Commission thereof.

(34) For the purposes of this Directive, the notions of essential security interests, military equipment, sensitive equipment, sensitive works and sensitive services should be understood within the meaning of Directive 2009/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(11).

(35) This Directive should not affect the freedom of Member States to choose, in accordance with Union law, methods for organising and controlling the operation of gambling and betting, including by means of authorisations. It is appropriate to exclude from the scope of this Directive concessions relating to the operation of lotteries awarded by a Member State to an economic operator on the basis of an exclusive right granted by means of a procedure without publicity pursuant to applicable national laws, regulations or published administrative provisions in accordance with the TFEU. That exclusion is justified by the granting of an exclusive right to an economic operator, making a competitive procedure inapplicable, as well as by the need to retain the possibility for Member States to regulate the gambling sector at national level in view of their obligations in terms of protecting public and social order.

(36) This Directive should not apply to certain emergency services where they are performed by non-profit organisations or associations, since the particular nature of those organisations would be difficult to preserve if the service providers had to be chosen in accordance with the procedures set out in this Directive. However, the exclusion should not be extended beyond that strictly necessary. It should therefore be set out explicitly that patient transport ambulance services should not be excluded. In that context it is furthermore necessary to clarify that CPV Group 601 ‘Land Transport Services’ does not cover ambulance services, to be found in CPV class 8514. It should therefore be clarified that services which are covered by CPV code 85143000-3, consisting exclusively of patient transport ambulance services should be subject to the special regime set out for social and other specific services (the ‘light regime’). Consequently, mixed concession contracts for the provision of ambulance services in general would also be subject to the light regime if the value of the patient transport ambulance services were greater than the value of other ambulance services.

(37) It is appropriate to recall that this Directive applies only to contracting authorities and contracting entities of Member States. Consequently, political parties, not being contracting authorities or contracting entities are not subject to its provisions. However, political parties in some Member States might fall within the notion of bodies governed by public law. However, certain services (such as propaganda film production and propaganda video-tape production) are so inextricably connected to the political views of the service provider when provided in the context of an election campaign, that the service providers are normally selected in a manner which cannot be governed by concession rules. Finally it should be recalled that the statute and funding of European political parties and European Political foundations are subject to rules other than those laid down in this Directive.

(38) Many contracting entities are organised as an economic group which may comprise a series of separate undertakings; often each of those undertakings has a specialised role in the overall context of the economic group. It is therefore appropriate to exclude certain service and works concessions awarded to an affiliated undertaking having as its principal activity the provision of such services or works to the group of which it is part, rather than offering them on the market. It is also appropriate to exclude certain service and works concessions awarded by a contracting entity to a joint venture which is formed by a number of contracting entities for the purpose of carrying out activities covered by this Directive and of which that entity is part. However, it is also appropriate to ensure that this exclusion does not give rise to distortions of competition to the benefit of the undertakings or joint ventures that are affiliated with the contracting entities; it is appropriate to provide a suitable set of rules, in particular as regards the maximum limits within which the undertakings may obtain a part of their turnover from the market and above which they would lose the possibility of being awarded concessions without calls for competition, the composition of joint ventures and the stability of links between those joint ventures and the contracting entities of which they are composed.

(39) Undertakings should be considered to be affiliated where a direct or indirect dominant influence exists between the contracting entity and the undertaking concerned or where both are subject to the dominant influence of another undertaking; in this context, private participation should, per se, not be relevant. The verification of whether an undertaking is affiliated to a given contracting entity should be as easy to perform as possible. Consequently, and given that the possible existence of such direct or indirect dominant influence would already have had to be verified for the purposes of deciding whether the annual accounts of the undertakings and entities concerned should be consolidated, undertakings should be considered to be affiliated where their annual accounts are consolidated. However, Union rules on consolidated accounts are not applicable in a certain number of cases, for instance because of the size of the undertakings involved or because certain conditions relating to their legal form are not met. In such cases, where Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(12) is not applicable, it will be necessary to examine whether a direct or indirect dominant influence is present taking into account ownership, financial participation or the rules governing the undertakings.

(40) Concessions in the water sector are often subject to specific and complex arrangements which require a particular consideration given the importance of water as a public good of fundamental value to all Union citizens. The special features of those arrangements justify exclusions in the field of water from the scope of this Directive. The exclusion covers works and services concessions to provide or operate fixed networks intended to provide a service to the public in connection with the production, transport or distribution of drinking water or the supply of drinking water to such networks. Concessions for the disposal or treatment of sewage and for hydraulic engineering projects, irrigation or land drainage (provided that the volume of water to be used for the supply of drinking water represents more than 20 % of the total volume of water made available by such projects or irrigation or drainage installations) should also be excluded in so far as they are connected with an excluded activity.

(41) This Directive should not apply to concessions awarded by contracting entities and intended to permit the performance of an activity referred to in Annex II if, in the Member State in which that activity is carried out, it is directly exposed to competition on markets to which access is not limited, as established following a procedure provided for to this purpose in Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(13). It is therefore appropriate to maintain the procedure, applicable to all sectors, or parts thereof, covered by this Directive that will enable the effects of current or future opening up to competition to be taken into account. Such a procedure should provide legal certainty for the entities concerned, as well as an appropriate decision-making process, ensuring, within short time limits, the uniform application of Union law in this area. For the sake of legal certainty, it should be clarified that all Decisions adopted prior to the entry into force of this Directive adopted on the basis of Article 30 of Directive 2004/17/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(14) will continue to apply.

(42) Being addressed to Member States, this Directive does not apply to the award of concessions by international organisations on their own behalf and for their own account. There is, however, a need to clarify to what extent this Directive should be applied to concession awards governed by specific international rules.

(43) The awarding of concessions for certain audiovisual and radio media services by media providers should allow aspects of cultural or social significance to be taken into account, which renders the application of rules on the award of concessions inappropriate. For those reasons, an exception should therefore be made for service concessions, awarded by the media service providers themselves, for the purchase, development, production or co-production of off-the-shelf programmes and other preparatory services, such as those relating to scripts or artistic performances necessary for the production of the programme. It should also be clarified that that exclusion should apply equally to broadcast media services and on-demand services (non-linear services). However, that exclusion should not apply to the supply of technical equipment necessary for the production, co-production and broadcasting of such programmes.

(44) This Directive is without prejudice to the Member States’ competence to provide for the funding of public service broadcasting in so far as such funding is granted to broadcasting organisations for the fulfilment of the public service remit as conferred, defined and organised by each Member State in accordance with Protocol No 29 on the system of public broadcasting in Member States annexed to the TFEU and the TEU.

(45) There is considerable legal uncertainty as to how far contracts concluded between entities within the public sector should be covered by the rules on concessions. The relevant case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union is interpreted differently between Member States and even between contracting authorities or contracting entities. It is therefore necessary to clarify in which cases contracts concluded within the public sector are not subject to the application of the rules laid down in this Directive. Such clarification should be guided by the principles set out in the relevant case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The sole fact that both parties to an agreement are themselves public authorities does not as such rule out the application of the rules laid down in this Directive. However, the application of the rules laid down in this Directive should not interfere with the freedom of public authorities to perform the public service tasks conferred on them by using their own resources, which includes the possibility of cooperation with other public authorities. It should be ensured that any exempted public-public cooperation does not result in a distortion of competition in relation to private economic operators in so far as it places a private provider of services in a position of advantage vis-à-vis its competitors.

(46) Concessions awarded to controlled legal persons should not be subject to the application of the procedures provided for by this Directive if the contracting authority or contracting entity as referred to point (a) of Article 7(1) exercises a control over the legal person concerned which is similar to that which it exercises over its own departments provided that the controlled legal person carries out more than 80 % of its activities in the performance of tasks entrusted to it by the controlling contracting authority or contracting entity or by other legal persons controlled by that contracting authority or contracting entity, regardless of the beneficiary of the contract performance. The exemption should not extend to situations where there is direct participation by a private economic operator in the capital of the controlled legal person since, in such circumstances, the award of a concession without a competitive procedure would provide the private economic operator with a capital participation in the controlled legal person an undue advantage over its competitors. However, in view of the particular characteristics of public bodies with compulsory membership, such as organisations responsible for the management or exercise of certain public services, this should not apply in cases where the participation of specific private economic operators in the capital of the controlled legal person is made compulsory by a national legislative provision in conformity with the Treaties, provided that such participation is non-controlling and non-blocking and does not confer a decisive influence on the decisions of the controlled legal person. It should further be clarified that the decisive element is only the direct private participation in the controlled legal person. Therefore, where there is private capital participation in the controlling contracting authority or contracting entity or in the controlling contracting authorities or contracting entities, this does not preclude the award of public contracts to the controlled legal person, without applying the procedures provided for by this Directive, as such participations do not adversely affect competition between private economic operators. It should also be clarified that contracting authorities or contracting entities such as bodies governed by public law, that may have private capital participation, should be in a position to avail themselves of the exemption for horizontal cooperation. Consequently, where all other conditions in relation to horizontal cooperation are met, the horizontal cooperation exemption should extend to such contracting authorities or contracting entities where the contract is concluded exclusively between contracting authorities or contracting entities.

(47) Contracting authorities or contracting entities as referred to in point (a) of Article 7(1) should be able to choose to provide their public services jointly by way of cooperation without being obliged to use any particular legal form. Such cooperation might cover all types of activities related to the performance of services and responsibilities assigned to or assumed by the participating authorities, such as mandatory or voluntary tasks of local or regional authorities or services conferred upon specific bodies by public law. The services provided by the various participating authorities or entities need not necessarily be identical; they might also be complementary. Contracts for the joint provision of public services should not be subject to this Directive provided that they are concluded exclusively between contracting authorities or contracting entities, that the implementation of that cooperation is governed solely by considerations relating to the public interest and that no private service provider is placed in a position of advantage vis-à-vis its competitors. In order to fulfil those conditions, the cooperation should be based on a cooperative concept. Such cooperation does not require all participating authorities to assume the performance of main contractual obligations, provided there are commitments to contribute towards the cooperative performance of the public service in question. In addition, the implementation of the cooperation, including any financial transfers between the participating contracting authorities, should be governed solely by considerations relating to the public interest.

(48) Certain cases exist where a legal entity acts, under the relevant provisions of national law, as an instrument or technical service to determined contracting authorities or contracting entities, and is obliged to carry out orders given to it by those contracting authorities or contracting entities and has no influence on the remuneration for its performance. In view of its non-contractual nature, such a purely administrative relationship should not fall within the scope of concession award procedures.

(49) It should be clarified that the notion of ‘economic operators’ should be interpreted in a broad manner so as to include any persons and/or entities which offer the execution of works, the supply of products or the provision of services on the market, irrespective of the legal form under which they have chosen to operate. Thus, firms, branches, subsidiaries, partnerships, cooperative societies, limited companies, universities, public or private, and other forms of entities should all fall within the notion of economic operator, whether or not they are ‘legal persons’ in all circumstances.

(50) In order to ensure adequate advertising of works and services concessions equal to or above a certain threshold awarded by contracting entities and by the contracting authorities the award of such concessions should be preceded by the compulsory publication of a concession notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.

(51) In view of the detrimental effects on competition, the award of concessions without prior publication should only be permitted in very exceptional circumstances. This exception should be limited to cases in which it is clear from the outset that a publication would not trigger more competition, in particular because there is objectively only one economic operator who can perform the concession. The impossibility of awarding the concession to any other economic operator should not have been created by the contracting authority or contracting entity itself in view of the future award procedure. Furthermore, the availability of adequate substitutes should be assessed thoroughly.

(52) The duration of a concession should be limited in order to avoid market foreclosure and restriction of competition. In addition, concessions of a very long duration are likely to result in the foreclosure of the market, and may thereby hinder the free movement of services and the freedom of establishment. However, such a duration may be justified if it is indispensable to enable the concessionaire to recoup investments planned to perform the concession, as well as to obtain a return on the invested capital. Consequently, for concessions with a duration greater than five years the duration should be limited to the period in which the concessionaire could reasonably be expected to recoup the investment made for operating the works and services together with a return on invested capital under normal operating conditions, taking into account specific contractual objectives undertaken by the concessionaire in order to deliver requirements relating to, for example, quality or price for users. The estimation should be valid at the moment of the award of the concession. It should be possible to include initial and further investments deemed necessary for the operating of the concession in particular expenditure on infrastructure, copyrights, patents, equipment, logistics, hiring, training of personnel and initial expenses. The maximum duration of the concession should be indicated in the concession documents unless duration is used as an award criterion of the contract. Contracting authorities and contracting entities should always be able to award a concession for a period shorter than the time necessary to recoup the investments, provided that the related compensation does not eliminate the operating risk.

(53) It is appropriate to exclude from the full application of this Directive only those services which have a limited cross-border dimension, such as certain social, health, or educational services. Those services are provided within a particular context that varies widely amongst Member States, due to different cultural traditions. A specific regime should therefore be established for concessions for these services, which takes into account the fact that they are newly regulated. An obligation to publish a prior information notice and a concession award notice of any concession with a value equal to or greater than the threshold established in this Directive is an adequate way to provide information to potential tenderers on business opportunities, as well as to provide information to all interested parties on the number and type of contracts awarded. Furthermore, Member States should put in place appropriate measures with reference to the award of concession contracts for those services, aimed at ensuring compliance with the principles of transparency and equal treatment of economic operators, while allowing contracting authorities and contracting entities to take into account the specificities of the services in question. Member States should ensure that contracting authorities and contracting entities are allowed to take into account the need to ensure innovation and, in accordance with Article 14 TFEU and Protocol No 26, a high level of quality, safety and affordability, equal treatment and the promotion of universal access and of users’ rights.

(54) Given the importance of the cultural context and the sensitivity of those services, Member States should be given wide discretion to organise the choice of the service providers in the way they consider most appropriate. This Directive does not prevent Member States from applying specific quality criteria for the choice of service providers, such as the criteria set out in the voluntary European Quality Framework for Social Services of the European Union’s Social Protection Committee. Member States and/or public authorities remain free to provide these services themselves or to organise social services in a way that does not entail the conclusion of concessions, for example through the mere financing of such services or by granting licences or authorisations to all economic operators meeting the conditions established beforehand by the contracting authority or contracting entity, without any limits or quotas, provided such systems ensure sufficient advertising and complies with the principles of transparency and non-discrimination.

(55) With a view to the appropriate integration of environmental, social and labour requirements into concession award procedures, it is of particular importance that Member States and contracting authorities or contracting entities take relevant measures to ensure compliance with obligations in the fields of environmental, social and labour law that apply at the place where the works are executed or the services provided and result from laws, regulations or administrative provisions, at national and Union level, as well as from collective agreements, provided that such rules, and their application, comply with Union law. Equally, obligations stemming from international agreements ratified by all Member States and listed in this Directive should apply during concession performance. However, this should in no way prevent the application of terms and conditions of employment which are more favourable to workers. The relevant measures should be applied in conformity with the basic principles of Union law, in particular with a view to ensuring equal treatment. Such relevant measures should be applied in accordance with Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(15), and in a way that ensures equal treatment and does not discriminate directly or indirectly against economic operators and workers from other Member States.

(56) Services should be considered to be provided at the place where the characteristic performances are executed. When services are provided at a distance, for example services provided by call centres, those services should be considered to be provided at the place where the services are executed, irrespective of the places and Member States to which the services are directed.

(57) The relevant obligations could be mirrored in concession clauses. It should also be possible to include clauses ensuring compliance with collective agreements in compliance with Union law in concessions. Non-compliance with the relevant obligations could be considered to be grave misconduct on the part of the economic operator concerned, liable to exclusion of that economic operator from the procedure for the award of a concession.

(58) Control of the observance of the environmental, social and labour law provisions should be performed at the relevant stages of the concession award procedure, when applying the general principles governing the choice of participants and the award of contracts, and when applying the exclusion criteria.

(59) Nothing in this Directive should prevent the imposition or enforcement of measures necessary to protect public policy, public morality, public security, health, human and animal life, the preservation of plant life or other environmental measures, in particular with a view to sustainable development, provided that those measures are in conformity with the TFEU.

(60) In order to ensure confidentiality during the procedure, contracting authorities and contracting entities, as well as economic operators should not disclose information that has been designated as confidential. Non-compliance with this obligation should trigger the application of adequate sanctions, as and where provided for under the civil or administrative law of the Member States.

(61) In order to combat fraud, favouritism and corruption and prevent conflicts of interest, Member States should take appropriate measures to ensure the transparency of the award procedure and the equal treatment of all candidates and tenderers. Such measures should in particular aim at eliminating conflicts of interest and other serious irregularities.

(62) In order to make it possible for all interested operators to submit applications and tenders, contracting authorities and contracting entities should be obliged to respect a minimum time limit for the receipt of such applications and tenders.

(63) The choice of proportionate, non-discriminatory and fair selection criteria, and their application to economic operators is crucial for the operators’ effective access to the economic opportunities related to concessions. In particular, the possibility for a candidate to rely on the capacities of other entities can be decisive to enable the participation of SMEs. Therefore, it is appropriate to provide that the selection criteria should relate exclusively to the professional and technical ability and the financial and economic standing of operators, and be linked to the subject-matter of the contract, should be announced in the concession notice and cannot preclude an economic operator, save in exceptional circumstances, from relying on the capacities of other entities, regardless of the legal nature of its links with those entities, if the latter proves to the contracting authority or contracting entity that it will have at its disposal the necessary resources.

(64) Furthermore, with a view to the better integration of social and environmental considerations in the concession award procedures, contracting authorities or contracting entities should be allowed to use award criteria or concession performance conditions relating to the works or services to be provided under the concession contract in any respect and at any stage of their life cycles from extraction of raw materials for the product to the stage of disposal of the product, including factors involved in the specific process of production, provision or trading of those works or services or a specific process during a later stage of their life cycle, even where such factors do not form part of their material substance. Criteria and conditions referring to such a production or provision process are for example that services being the object of the concession are provided using energy-efficient machines. In accordance with the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, this also includes award criteria or concession performance conditions relating to the utilisation of fair trade products in the course of the performance of the concession to be awarded. Criteria and conditions relating to trading and its conditions can for instance refer the requirement to pay a minimum price and price premium to subcontractors. Concession performance conditions pertaining to environmental considerations might include, for example, waste minimisation or resource efficiency.

(65) Award criteria or concession performance conditions concerning social aspects of the production process should be applied in accordance with Directive 96/71/EC, as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union, and should not be chosen or applied in a way that discriminates directly or indirectly against economic operators from other Member States or from third countries parties to the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Government Procurement (the ‘GPA’) or to Free Trade Agreements to which the Union is party. Thus, requirements concerning the basic working conditions regulated in Directive 96/71/EC, such as minimum rates of pay, should remain at the level set by national legislation or by collective agreements applied in accordance with Union law in the context of that Directive. Concession performance conditions might also be intended to favour the implementation of measures for the promotion of equality of women and men at work, the increased participation of women in the labour market and the reconciliation of work and private life, the protection of the environment or animal welfare and to comply in substance with fundamental International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions, and to recruit more disadvantaged persons than are required under national legislation.

(66) Measures aiming at the protection of health of the staff involved in the process of performance of the concession, the favouring of social integration of disadvantaged persons or members of vulnerable groups amongst the persons assigned to performing the concession or training in the skills needed for the concession in question can also be the subject of award criteria or concession performance conditions provided that they relate to the works or services to be provided under the concession. For instance, such criteria or conditions might refer, amongst other things, to the employment of long-term job-seekers, the implementation of training measures for the unemployed or young persons in the course of the performance of the concession to be awarded. In technical specifications contracting authorities can provide such social requirements which directly characterise the product or service in question, such as accessibility for persons with disabilities or design for all users.

(67) The technical and functional requirements drawn up by contracting authorities and contracting entities need to allow concession award to be opened up to competition. Those requirements should define the characteristics required of works and/or services covered by the concession, and might refer to the specific process of production or provision of the requested works or services, provided that they are linked to the subject-matter of the concession and proportionate to its value and objectives. The specific process of production might include requirements concerning accessibility for people with disabilities, or environmental performance levels. Those technical and functional requirements should be included in the concession documents and should comply with the principles of equal treatment and transparency. They should be drafted such as to avoid artificially narrowing down competition, in particular through requirements that favour a specific economic operator by mirroring key characteristics of the supplies, services or works habitually offered by that economic operator. In any case, tenders comprising works and/or services, including supplies which are incidental to such works and services, complying in an equivalent manner with the characteristics required should be considered by contracting authorities or contracting entities.

(68) Concessions are usually long-term, complex arrangements where the concessionaire assumes responsibilities and risks traditionally borne by the contracting authorities and contracting entities and normally falling within their remit. For that reason, subject to compliance with this Directive and with the principles of transparency and equal treatment, contracting authorities and contracting entities should be allowed considerable flexibility to define and organise the procedure leading to the choice of concessionaire. However, in order to ensure equal treatment and transparency throughout the awarding process, it is appropriate to provide for basic guarantees as to the awarding process, including information on the nature and scope of the concession, limitation of the number of candidates, the dissemination of information to candidates and tenderers and the availability of appropriate records. It is also necessary to provide that the initial terms of the concession notice should not be deviated from, in order to prevent unfair treatment of any potential candidates.

(69) Concessions should not be awarded to economic operators that have participated in a criminal organisation or have been found guilty of corruption, fraud to the detriment of the Union’s financial interests, terrorist offences, money laundering, terrorist financing or trafficking in human beings. Member States should, however, be able to provide for a derogation from these mandatory exclusions in exceptional situations where overriding requirements in the general interest make a contract award indispensable. Non-payment of taxes or social security contributions should also be sanctioned by mandatory exclusion at the level of the Union.

(70) Furthermore, contracting authorities and contracting entities should be given the possibility to exclude economic operators which have proven unreliable, for instance because of serious or repeated violations of environmental or social obligations, including rules on accessibility for disabled persons or other forms of grave professional misconduct, such as violations of competition rules or of intellectual property rights. It should be clarified that grave professional misconduct can render an economic operator’s integrity questionable and thus render the economic operator unsuitable to receive the award of a concession contract irrespective of whether the economic operator would otherwise have the technical and economical capacity to perform the contract. Bearing in mind that the contracting authority or contracting entity is responsible for the consequences of possible erroneous decisions, contracting authorities and contracting entities should also remain free to consider that there has been grave professional misconduct, where, before a final and binding decision on the presence of mandatory exclusion grounds has been rendered, they can demonstrate by any appropriate means that an economic operator has violated its obligations, including obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions, unless otherwise provided by national law. Contracting authorities and contracting entities should also be able to exclude candidates or tenderers whose performance in earlier concessions or other contracts with contracting authorities or contracting entities has shown major deficiencies with regard to substantive requirements, for instance failure to deliver or perform, significant shortcomings of the product or service delivered, making it unusable for the intended purpose, or misbehaviour that casts serious doubts as to the reliability of the economic operator. National law should provide for a maximum duration for such exclusions.

(71) Allowance should, however, be made for the possibility that economic operators can adopt compliance measures aimed at remedying the consequences of any criminal offences or misconduct and at effectively preventing further occurrences of the misbehaviour. Those measures might consist in particular of personnel and organisational measures such as the severance of all links with persons or organisations involved in the misbehaviour, appropriate staff reorganisation measures, the implementation of reporting and control systems, the creation of an internal audit structure to monitor compliance and the adoption of internal liability and compensation rules. Where such measures offer sufficient guarantees, the economic operator in question should no longer be excluded on those grounds alone. Economic operators should have the possibility to request that compliance measures taken with a view to possible admission to the concession award procedure be examined. However, it should be left to Member States to determine the exact procedural and substantive conditions applicable in such cases. They should, in particular, be free to decide whether to allow the individual contracting authorities or contracting entities to carry out the relevant assessments or to entrust other authorities on a central or decentralised level with that task.

(72) It is important that the observance by subcontractors of applicable obligations in the fields of environmental, social and labour law, established by Union law, national law, collective agreements or by the international environmental, social and labour law provisions listed in this Directive provided that such rules, and their application, comply with Union law, be ensured through appropriate actions by the competent national authorities within the scope of their responsibilities and remit, such as labour inspection agencies or environmental protection agencies. It is also necessary to ensure some transparency in the subcontracting chain, as this gives contracting authorities and contracting entities information on who is present at building sites on which works are being performed for them, or on which undertakings are providing services in or at buildings, infrastructures or areas, such as town halls, municipal schools, sports facilities, ports or motorways, for which the contracting authorities are responsible or over which they have an oversight. It should be clarified that the obligation to deliver the required information is in any case incumbent upon the concessionaire, either on the basis of specific clauses, that each contracting authority or contracting entity would have to include in all award procedures, or on the basis of obligations which Member States would impose on the concessionaire by means of generally applicable provisions. It should also be clarified that the conditions relating to the enforcement of observance of applicable obligations in the fields of environmental, social and labour law, established by Union law, national law, collective agreements or by the international environmental, social and labour law provisions listed in this Directive, provided that such rules and their application comply with Union law, should be applied whenever the national law of a Member State provides for a mechanism of joint liability between subcontractors and the concessionaire. Furthermore, it should be stated explicitly that Member States should be able to go further, for instance by extending the transparency obligations or by enabling or requiring contracting authorities or contracting entities to verify that subcontractors are not in any of the situations in which exclusion of economic operators would be warranted. Where such measures are applied to subcontractors, coherence with the provisions applicable to the concessionaire should be ensured so that existence of compulsory exclusion grounds would be followed by a requirement that the concessionaire replace the subcontractor concerned. Where such verification shows the presence of non-compulsory grounds for exclusion, it should be clarified that contracting authorities or contracting entities are able to require the replacement. It should, however, also be set out explicitly that contracting authorities or contracting entities may be obliged to require the replacement of the subcontractor concerned where exclusion of the concessionaire would be obligatory in such cases. It should also be set out explicitly that Member States remain free to provide for more stringent liability rules under national law.

(73) Contracting authorities or contracting entities should assess tenders on the basis of one or several award criteria. In order to ensure transparency and equal treatment, criteria for the award of concessions should always comply with some general standards. Those standards may refer to factors which are not purely economic, but influence the value of a tender from the point of view of the contracting authority or contracting entity and permit it to identify an overall economic advantage to the contracting authority or the contracting entity. The criteria should be disclosed in advance to all potential candidates or tenderers, be related to the subject-matter of the contract and should not offer to the contracting authority or contracting entity an unrestricted freedom of choice. They should permit effective competition and be accompanied by requirements that allow the information provided by the tenderers to be effectively verified. It should be possible to include in award criteria, inter alia, environmental, social or innovation-related criteria. Contracting authorities or contracting entities should also indicate award criteria in descending order of importance so as to ensure the equal treatment of potential tenderers by allowing them to be aware of all the elements to be taken into account when they prepare their tenders. In exceptional cases where the contracting authority or contracting entity receives a tender which proposes an innovative solution with an exceptional level of functional performance which could not have foreseen by a diligent contracting authority or contracting entity, the contracting authority or contracting entity should, exceptionally, be able to modify the order of the award criteria to take into account the new possibilities brought about by that innovative solution, provided such a modification ensures equal treatment of all actual or potential tenderers by issuing a new invitation to tender or, where appropriate, publishing a new concession notice.

(74) Electronic means of information and communication can greatly simplify the publication of concessions and increase the efficiency, speed and transparency of concession award processes. They could become the standard means of communication and information exchange in concession award procedures, as they greatly enhance the possibilities of economic operators to participate in concession award procedures across the internal market.

(75) Concession contracts typically involve long-term and complex technical and financial arrangements which are often subject to changing circumstances. It is therefore necessary to clarify the conditions under which modifications of a concession during its performance require a new concession award procedure, taking into account the relevant case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. A new concession procedure is required in the case of material changes to the initial concession, in particular to the scope and content of the mutual rights and obligations of the parties, including the distribution of intellectual property rights. Such changes demonstrate the parties’ intention to renegotiate essential terms or conditions of that concession. This is the case in particular if the amended conditions would have had an influence on the outcome of the procedure, had they been part of the initial procedure. Modifications of the concession resulting in a minor change of the contract value up to a certain level value should always be possible without the need to carry out a new concession procedure. To that effect and in order to ensure legal certainty, this Directive should provide for de minimis thresholds, below which a new award procedure is not required. Modifications of the concession above those thresholds should be possible without the need to carry out a new award procedure, to the extent that such modifications comply with certain conditions. That might be, for instance, the case of modifications which have become necessary following the need to accommodate requests from contracting authorities or contracting entities, with regard to security requirements and taking into account specificities of such activities as, for instance, operation of mountain sport and touristic facilities, where legislation might evolve to address the related hazards, to the extent such modifications comply with the relevant conditions laid down in this Directive.

(76) Contracting authorities and contracting entities can be faced with external circumstances that they could not foresee when they awarded the concession, in particular when the performance of the concession covers a long period. In those cases, a certain degree of flexibility is needed to adapt the concession to the circumstances without a new award procedure. The notion of unforeseeable circumstances refers to circumstances that could not have been predicted despite reasonably diligent preparation of the initial award by the contracting authority or contracting entity, taking into account its available means, the nature and characteristics of the specific project, good practices in the field in question and the need to ensure an appropriate relationship between the resources spent in preparing the award and its foreseeable value. However, this cannot apply in cases where a modification results in an alteration of the nature of the overall concession, for instance by replacing the works to be executed or the services to be provided by something different or by fundamentally changing the type of concession since, in such a situation, a hypothetical influence on the outcome may be assumed. For concessions awarded for purposes of pursuing an activity other than those referred to in Annex II, any increase in value not requiring a new award procedure should not be higher than 50 % of the value of the original concession. Where several successive modifications are made, that limitation should apply to the value of each modification. Such consecutive modifications should not be aimed at circumventing this Directive.

(77) In line with the principles of equal treatment and transparency, the successful tenderer should not, for instance where a concession is terminated because of deficiencies in the performance, be replaced by another economic operator without reopening the concession to competition. However, the successful tenderer performing the concession should be able, in particular where the concession has been awarded to a group of economic operators, to undergo certain structural changes during the performance of the concession, such as purely internal reorganisations, takeovers, mergers and acquisitions or insolvency. Such structural changes should not automatically require new award procedures for the concession performed by that tenderer.

(78) Contracting authorities and contracting entities should have the possibility to provide for modifications to a concession by way of review or option clauses, but such clauses should not give them unlimited discretion. This Directive should therefore set out to what extent modifications may be provided for in the initial concession. It should consequently be clarified that sufficiently clearly drafted review or option clauses may for instance provide for price indexations or ensure that, for example, communication equipment to be delivered over a given period continues to be suitable, also in the case of changing communications protocols or other technological changes. It should also be possible under sufficiently clear clauses to provide for adaptations of the concession which are rendered necessary by technical difficulties which have appeared during operation or maintenance. It should also be recalled that concessions could, for instance, include both ordinary maintenance as well as provide for extraordinary maintenance interventions that might become necessary in order to ensure continuation of a public service.

(79) Contracting authorities and contracting entities might be faced with situations where additional works or services become necessary. In such cases, provided that the conditions set out in this Directive are fulfilled, a modification of the initial concession without a new concession award procedure should be considered to be justified.

(80) Contracting authorities and contracting entities are sometimes faced with circumstances that require the early termination of the concession in order to comply with obligations under Union law in the field of concessions. Member States should therefore ensure that contracting authorities and contracting entities have the possibility, under the conditions determined by national law, to terminate a concession during its term if so required by Union law.

(81) In order to ensure adequate judicial protection of candidates and tenderers in the concession award procedures, as well as to make effective the enforcement of this Directive and of the principles of the TFEU, Council Directive 89/665/EEC(16) and Council Directive 92/13/EEC(17) should also apply to services concessions and to works concessions awarded by both contracting authorities and contracting entities. Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC should, therefore, be amended accordingly.

(82) The processing of personal data pursuant to this Directive should be governed by Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(18).

(83) Member States are required to consistently and systematically monitor the implementation and functioning of rules on the award of concession contracts in order to ensure the efficient and uniform application of Union law.

(84) The Commission should assess the economic effects on the internal market, in particular in terms of factors such as the cross-border award of contracts, SME participation and transaction costs, resulting from the application of the thresholds set out in this Directive, and from the exclusion set out in Article 12 taking into account the specific structures of the water sector. The Commission should report thereon to the European Parliament and the Council by 18 April 2019. In accordance with Article XXIV(7) of the GPA, the GPA will be the subject of further negotiations three years after its entry into force and periodically thereafter. In that context, the appropriateness of the level of thresholds should be examined in the context of negotiations under the GPA bearing in mind the impact of inflation and transaction costs. The Commission should, where possible and appropriate, consider suggesting an increase of the thresholds applicable under the GPA during the next round of negotiations. In the event of any change to those thresholds, the report made by the Commission should, where appropriate, be followed by a legislative proposal modifying the threshold set out in this Directive.

(85) In order to adapt to rapid technical, economic and regulatory developments, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission in respect of reviewing the list of acts set out in Annex III, reviewing the technical procedures for the calculation methods concerning the threshold as well as to periodically revise the threshold itself, amending references to the CPV nomenclature and adapting the list of acts set out in Annex X. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(86) In order to ensure uniform conditions concerning the procedure for drawing up and transmission of notices and for sending and publishing data referred to in Annexes V, VII and VIII, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council(19). The advisory procedure should be used for the adoption of implementing acts, which have an impact neither on the financial situation nor on the nature and scope of the obligations stemming from this Directive. On the contrary, those acts are characterised by a mere administrative purpose and serve to facilitate the application of this Directive.

(87) Since the objective of this Directive, namely the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States applying to certain concession procedures cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 TEU. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.

(88) In accordance with the Joint Political Declaration of Member States and the Commission on explanatory documents of 28 September 2011, Member States have undertaken to accompany, in justified cases, the notification of their transposition measures with one or more documents explaining the relationship between the components of a Directive and the corresponding parts of national transposition instruments. With regard to this Directive, the legislator considers the transmission of such documents to be justified,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

(3)

Position of the European Parliament of 15 January 2014 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and decision of the Council of 11 February 2014.

(4)

Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts (OJ L 134, 30.4.2004, p. 114).

(5)

Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market (OJ L 376, 27.12.2006, p. 36).

(6)

Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC (OJ L 211, 14.8.2009, p. 94).

(7)

Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC (OJ L 211, 14.8.2009, p. 55).

(8)

Directive 97/67/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 1997 on common rules for the development of the internal market of Community postal services and the improvement of quality of service (OJ L 15, 21.1.1998, p. 14).

(9)

Directive 94/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 1994 on the conditions for granting and using authorisations for the prospection, exploration and production of hydrocarbons (OJ L 164, 30.6.1994, p. 3).

(10)

Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70 (OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 1).

(11)

Directive 2009/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on the coordination of procedures for the award of certain works contracts, supply contracts and service contracts by contracting authorities or entities in the fields of defence and security, and amending Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC (OJ L 216, 20.8.2009, p. 76).

(12)

Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings, amending Directive 2006/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directives 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC (OJ L 182, 29.6.2013, p. 19).

(13)

Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (see page 243 of this Official Journal).

(14)

Directive 2004/17/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (OJ L 134, 30.4.2004, p. 1).

(15)

Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1996 concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services (OJ L 18, 21.1.1997, p. 1).

(16)

Council Directive 89/665/EEC of 21 December 1989 on the coordination of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the application of review procedures to the award of public supply and public works contracts (OJ L 395, 30.12.1989, p. 33).

(17)

Council Directive 92/13/EEC of 25 February 1992 coordinating the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the application of Community rules on the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and telecommunications sectors (OJ L 76, 23.3.1992, p. 14).

(18)

Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31).

(19)

Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by the Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).

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