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European Commission - Press release

European Commission and EIB present guidance paper on the Eurostat treatment of PPPs

Brussels, 29 September 2016

EU-Commissioner Marianne Thyssen and Vice-President Jan Vapaavuori of the European Investment Bank (EIB) have presented a new Guide to the Statistical Treatment of Public Private Partnerships in Brussels today.

The guide is a joint effort of Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Commission) and the European PPP Expertise Centre (EPEC) of the EIB.

Investment is a key priority for the Commission. This is why just weeks into office, the European Commission, with the EIB as its strategic partner, launched the Investment Plan for Europe in November 2014. The aim of the Plan is to support economic recovery by stimulating investment in the real economy. The Investment Plan for Europe uses public investments and guarantees to engage private capital and expertise. Public-Private Partnerships, PPPs, are expected to play an important role in getting Europe's investment in infrastructure back on track.

The public sector's decision to procure projects as PPPs, however, is often influenced by expectations as to their statistical treatment (i.e. impact on government debt and deficit figures). Uncertainty in how to assess the statistical treatment of PPPs can therefore create difficulties and delays in the various stages of preparation and implementation of investment projects.

While the Guide does not change the rules used by Eurostat in classifying PPPs, it analyses the most common features of current PPP contracts in the light of these rules and gives a clear overview of their potential impact on Government finances. The guide will help Member States and other PPP stakeholders to better understand the impact that the features of PPP contracts have on government balance sheets and will assist public authorities in taking well-informed decisions when preparing and procuring their PPPs. This Guide is also a helpful tool to provide clarity to public and private promoters in the context of the investment plan and remove perceived barriers to investment. Technical assistance facilities like the European Investment Advisory Hub set-up by the EIB and the Commission would use it to assist in any potential request.

“Eurostat's rules on PPPs had become a hot topic, in particular in the context of the Investment Plan for Europe", said Jan Vapaavuori, EIB Vice-President responsible for Advisory Services, “I am confident that the Guide will considerably help public authorities prepare projects with more confidence, using the opportunities offered by sound PPPs to mobilise private capital and expertise and ultimately generating more investment on the ground to improve citizens' lives.”

Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner responsible for Eurostat: said "I am very pleased to launch this new “Guide to the Statistical Treatment of PPPs”. It is aimed at all stakeholders – both public and private sector – involved in commissioning, financing and undertaking PPPs, and it will assist both public and private authorities in taking well-informed decisions when using PPPs, with a clear understanding of their impact on Government balance sheets. I hope this new Guide will facilitate project promoters considering applying for EFSI support under the Investment Plan."

According to data collected by EPEC, over the last five years 345 new PPP projects were closed in 16 EU Member States, for the total value of over EUR 65 billion. Over this period, the two most active PPP markets in the EU were the UK (with 124 deals worth over EUR 23 billion) and France (with 75 projects worth over EUR 18 billion).

The full guide is available for download here.  

Background Information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

Eurostat is the Directorate-General of the European Commission providing statistical information to the institutions of the European Union (EU) and promoting the harmonisation of statistical methods across its member states. The organisations in the different countries which actively cooperate with Eurostat are summarised under the concept of the European Statistical System.

The European PPP Expertise Centre (EPEC) is part of the Advisory Services of the European Investment Bank (EIB). It is an initiative that also involves the European Commission, Member States of the EU, Candidate States and certain other states. Its aim is to help the public sector engage in better PPPs. For more information visit

The Investment Plan for Europe focuses on strengthening European investments to create jobs and growth. It does so by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The European Investment Bank (EIB) estimates that by July 2016, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) triggered more than EUR 127.2 billion of investment in Europe. Building on this success, the European Commission on 14 September 2016 proposed extending the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths. Find the latest EFSI figures including a break-down by sector and by country here. For more information see the FAQs

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Press contacts:

EIB: Tim Smit, Tel.: +352 691 286423 or e-mail

European Commission: Natasja Bohez-Rubiano,Tel.: +32 460 766 470 or email

Eurostat: Tim Allen, Tel.: +352-4301-33 444 or




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