Roberto Caranta, An Introduction to the Concessions Directive


1. The 2014 reform of government contracts. 

2. A directive resulting from the tug of war between the Member States and the EU. 

3. Concessions and the freedom of the Member States to organise their activities (including the provision of SGEIs). 

4. Defining concessions. 

4.1. Legal basis and ratio legis. 

4.2. The legal nature of concessions. 

4.3. Concessions and (more or less) similar contracts and/or administrative decisions. 

4.4. The exploitation risk. 

4.5. PPPs.

4.6. Water.

5. A lot of cloning and a ‘light regime’. 

6. Short conclusion


The essay focuses on the most critical aspects of the directive 2014/23/EU on concession contracts, starting from the identification of the concept of concession, which is very different from those traditionally accepted in many Member States. The Author points out the lack of identification of elements suitable to distinguish the concession from other legal instruments, such as the authorization. Some considerations are made concerning the transposition of the Directive in the Member States, where it is noted that the timid approach used in implementing the principle of free administration of national authorities is mostly the one of not going beyond the limited provisions of the EU legislator.