Study on water services in selected Member States
Quotation N° 1/214-MARKT/C/2 under the framework service contract MARKT/2013/130/C3/SE/FC : final report - Study
The present report constitutes the final report for a study on Water services in selected Member States prepared under Request for quotation № 1/2014-MARKT/C/2 within Framework Service Contract MARKT/2013/130/C3/SE/FC” in which the EU Commission has asked Ramboll to assess seven study questions related to water services. In the final report it is concluded that: In all the studied Member States, the activities referred to in Directive 2014/23/EU Article 12 are performed by a combination of private, public or mixed operators. - In four of the Member States (Germany, Sweden, Hungary and... Poland) private participation is limited, whereas the share of private participation is around 50% or above in the three other Member States (UK, Spain, and France). - Amongst private providers, there is a significant presence of foreign investors in all countries apart from France, where private sector participation is mostly domestic. - The collected data for study does not allow for the conclusive identification of relations between the price and quality outcomes of water/wastewater provision and the public or private ownership of the providers. - In some of the selected Member States, the rights to provide water or wastewater services are not procured following a competitive public procurement procedure, but awarded to the providers in other ways. Since the vast majority of water supplied to the consumers in the selected Member States is supplied by publicly owned providers or under concessions not subject to open competition, the impact of the rules for public procurement on the provision of water services is generally quite low. - The study cannot with the required certainty conclude any effect on price or quality of service, as experienced by the consumers, by the omission of water services from the ordinary rules on award of concessions in the EU. - In the Member States where a contract is awarded after a competitive procedure most of the contracts are awarded following an open call tender procedure. - When the rights to provide water/wastewater services have been awarded through a competitive procedure in the selected countries the awards are subject to judicial review in line with the provisions of Directive 2007/66/EC. In three of the selected Member States Directive 2007/66/EC does not apply in relation to the award of rights to provide water/wastewater services, because the award has not been made through competitive procedures. - Rather than trusting market conditions and open competition to support the on-going improvement of water services, the Member States are generally applying strict public regulation on quality, tariffs and required efficiency gains on the providers. - The models of regulation differ among the selected countries with the broadest delineation being between centralised regulation by a regulator like in the UK and Hungary to decentralised regulation via municipal or regional authorities as in Spain, Germany, Sweden and France. The study notes the growing use of benchmarking systems for comparing the quality outcomes between different operators.
- Corporate author(s): Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (European Commission) , Rambøll
- Personal author(s): Blagoeva, Tsvetelina; Rossing, Camilla Themes: Economy — Finance, Industry — Enterprise — Services
- Subject: benchmarking, data collection, directive (EU), EU Member State, foreign investment, public contract, report, use of water, wastewater, water