Francisco Hernández González, The Implementation of Directive 2014/23/EU in Spain: the New Service Concession


1. Introduction: the different meanings of “concession”. 

2. Delimiting the public service concession from other public contracts: the public service criterion. 

3. The traditional concept of concession: a contract at the concessionaire’s “risk and cost”? 

4. The late introduction of the EU concept of “service concession” into Spanish law.

4.1. The concept of service concession prior to the 2014 Directive. 

4.1.1. First phase: remuneration of the concessionaire by users. 

4.1.2. Second phase: transfer of operating risk to the concessionaire. 

4.2. The introduction of EU case law into Spanish law. 

5. The concept of service concession in the 2014 Directive: characteristics of
operating risk. 

6. The implementation of the Concessions Directive in Spain.

6.1. The direct effect of the Directive. – 6.2. The Public Procurement Bill.


 The service concession has a long legal tradition in Spain. It is seen as a form of public service management contract that lends itself to the “risk and cost” of the contractor, whose remuneration may come from both users and the Administration. However, this traditional configuration will be radically altered by the incorporation of the concept of service concession that prevails in the European Union, which was first introduced by the case law of the Court of Justice and, more recently, by the 2014 Concessions Directive. The implementation of the new Directive in Spain has led to a drastic reduction in service concessions (while there is a boom in public service contracts) and the abolition of the public service management contract (in the new Public Procurement Law)