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Concession Meets Authorisation: New Demarcation Lines under the Concessions Directive?

Johan Wolswinkel


The Concessions Directive has introduced a separate legal regime for the award of concessions in EU law. This regime should not only be distinguished from the new Public Contracts Directive, but also from EU law on the grant of authorisations, including the Services Directive. Before the adoption of the Concessions Directive, there was no need to distinguish strictly between concessions and authorisations, as both legal arrangements were subject to the same legal regime of the fundamental freedoms of the TFEU and the resulting obligation of transparency. The first experiences with the Concessions Directive and the Services Directive show that some important differences on the applicable award rules currently exist between authorisation and concessions. However, the various criteria used to distinguish concessions from authorisations have still not been crystallised. The article argues for a more consistent delineation of authorisations and concessions and possibly a reduction of the different demarcation criteria suggested in the Concessions Directive.

Johan Wolswinkel, Associate Professor of Administrative Law, Tilburg Law School and Tilburg Institute for Law and Economics, Tilburg University. <>


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