The statistical recording of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the statistics of EU Member States is carried out according to the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010). More specific interpretations of these rules, often referred to as the ‘Eurostat rules’, are provided by Eurostat (EU statistical authority).
Eurostat rules are perceived by many stakeholders to represent an important obstacle to delivering infrastructure investment through PPPs and have accordingly been the subject of much debate, particularly in the context of implementing the Investment Plan for Europe. Stakeholders have argued that the rules make it difficult to understand how PPPs affect the balance sheet of EU Member States and impact on the fiscal criteria set out in the Maastricht Treaty.
In response to these concerns, EPEC and Eurostat have worked together to develop a Guide to the Statistical Treatment of PPPs. This is a technical and practical tool aimed primarily at public authorities involved in preparing and procuring PPP projects. It clarifies how the typical features of contract provisions in EU PPPs are relevant to the application of Eurostat statistical rules for PPPs and, therefore, whether they influence the "on" or "off" balance sheet classification for governments.
The Guide is expected to considerably help public authorities to take well-informed PPP procurement decisions, as a result of better ex-ante understanding of the statistical rules and their potential implications for their PPP projects.