Belgium is a Federal State. The legislative and regulatory powers are distributed to the Federal State and the regions. The Constitutional Court is entitled to check that these authorities act within their scope of competence.

In Belgium, partnerships between the public and private sectors started by creating mixed inter-communal entities or companies, both market oriented and not, and by developing public service and public works concessions and procurement contracts. However, the culture of PPP based on “alternative financing” as opposed to traditional financing through public money is not yet firmly established. Many PPPs are based on long-standing public procurement procedures and conventions, especially regarding the use of financing schemes to fund infrastructure projects. Belgium is nevertheless slowly becoming aware of the added value that PPPs, based on modern Private Finance Initiative or infrastructure project finance schemes, can bring. The benefits to the public come from easing the burden on public money and enhancing the quality of delivered services.

No general legal definition exists in Belgium for public private partnership contracts; however a decree in Flanders dated 18 July 2003 defines them as “projects carried out jointly by public and private bodies or entities, in the form of a partnership with the view to creating added value for these bodies or entities.

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