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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a public-private partnership (PPP)?

    A public-private partnership (“PPP”) is an arrangement between a public authority and a private partner designed to deliver a public infrastructure project and service under a long-term contract. Under this contract, the private partner bears significant risks and management responsibilities. A PPP differs from conventional public procurement in several respects. PPPs typically share the following features:

    • a long-term contract between a public authority and a private partner focusing on the provision of services rather than assets;
    • the transfer of certain project risks to the private partner, notably with regard to designing, building, operating/maintaining and/or financing the project;
    • a focus on the specification of project outputs rather than project inputs, taking account of the whole life cycle implications for the project;
    • the application of private financing (often “project finance”) to underpin the risks transferred to the private partner; and
    • the public authority makes performance-based payments to the private partner for the provision of the service (e.g. for the availability of a road) or grants the private partner a right to generate revenues from the provision of the service (e.g. tolls from users of a bridge).

    Interested in learning more about PPPs in less than 20 mins and without opening a book? Listen to Stuart Broom's (EPEC Advisor) podcast on PPPs.

    Why choose the PPP option instead of conventional public procurement?

    The rationale for using a PPP instead of conventional public procurement rests on the proposition that optimal risk sharing with the private partner delivers better “value for money” for the public sector and ultimately the end users. PPPs can be more complex than conventional public procurement. They require detailed project preparation and planning and proper management of the procurement phase to incentivise competition among bidders. They also require careful contract design to set service standards, allocate risks and reach an acceptable balance between commercial risks and returns. These features require skills in the public sector which are not typically called for in conventional procurement.

    Can EPEC finance my project?

    As part of the Advisory Services of the European Investment Bank, EPEC does not provide any kind of financing or grant funding.

    If your request is about financing for your project, we recommend that you submit a request for general information to the EIB here, and select “request for financing” when prompted.

    Can EPEC provide assistance beyond its Members?

    EPEC works only with public authorities in European Union Member States, Candidate Countries and certain other specified countries.

    Does EPEC have any internship/job vacancies at the moment?

    All vacancies (including internships) as well as recruitment conditions are published on the European Investment Bank website under the "Work with us " section. Please note that EPEC does not accept job applications for positions that have not been published on the EIB recruitment platform.

    Do you still have questions?

    Thank you for your interest in EPEC. In order to help direct your request as usefully as possible, please provide the details required below.