France has well-developed legislation on PPPs and procurement contracts. The legislation on PPPs rapidly evolved during 2009. The main reason for this has been the need to counteract the economic downturn, by encouraging public authorities to continue their investments in public services and by providing banks with greater security in order for them to keep lending to private companies and enabling them to meet the public authorities’ demands. The powers specifically granted to public authorities are limited, such as the prior approval in case of transfer of the contract. The project risks are now shared on a more equal basis among parties, thus strengthening legal certainty for private enterprises.
In France, PPPs can be divided into two categories: concessions (public service delegations and works concessions) and partnership contracts. Concessions are financially free-standing contracts under which the private sector company takes revenue risk; partnership contracts are used for services sold to the public sector. The country has well-developed legislation on PPPs and procurement contracts. Also each kind of PPP in France is regulated by specific legislation.
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