Financial, structural and territorial challenges in Central Europe ask for a strengthened teamwork of public and private actors to create and maintain attractive and competitive living conditions. Due to economic and demographic changes and limits to public resources (financial, know-how) the provision of public tasks and regional/urban restructuring can no longer be provided efficiently by public bodies alone and cities/regions risk to lose their position in European competition. Public private partnerships (PPP) – based on long lasting cooperation – are promising and innovative options for restructuring, urban renewal and improved public tasks.
ACT4PPP wants to promote and further develop PPP as strategic tool for enhancing private involvement in territorial development. PPPs do not only ask for legal, financial and organisational know-how but require also strategic and political key decisions, especially as PPP is not suitable for all public tasks or all situations and there are several difficulties to be considered. For using the tool PPP efficiently, many cities and regions still need support and training. Especially for many new member states PPP is still new and the application does not extend first testing.
As experiences among the regions in Central Europe widely differ, a transnational cooperation will be highly valuable for exchanging knowledge, fostering of common learning, transfer of experiences for wise application and gaining a high surplus compared to single efforts. Using PPP as a territorial development tool especially on a transnational level has not yet been addressed systematically and therefore ACT4PPP will highlight potentials and limitations for the targeted involvement of private stakeholders in territorial development processes.
ACT4PPP has started its activities in October 2008 and finalised all planned activities in December 2011. The partners worked actively on local level and European level and in smaller project groups such as the Management Group (LP and thematic coordinating partner) and the Capitalisation Group including the LP and all work package leaders. Moreover, ACT4PPP held all EU partner meetings according to the work plan (preparatory meeting in November 2008, the official kick-off conference in March 2009, TPPT meeting in March 2010 in Ljubljana and the midterm conference with a public PPP Forum in September 2010 in Poznan, a work meeting in Venice in April 2011, final conference in Schwerin/Rostock in September 2011). Additionally ACT4PPP held a public workshop during the OPEN DAYS in Brussels in October 2011. During the conferences panel discussions and presentations involved politicians, experts and practitioners from all ACT4PPP member states and EU institutions focussed on crucial PPP topics such as public funding possibilities, investor search and PPP contract application. The last TPPT meeting took place in April 2011 in Venice. This TPPT seminar was based on the respective preparatory and thematic reports following the ACT4PPP work plan. During this reporting period, the ACT4PPP transnational pilot project teams finalised the elaboration of the thematic reports on the topics on Financial Sources and PPP Cooperation Models. ACT4PPP fulfilled comprehensive communication activities. The website was regularly updated with news, events and material that derived from meetings and conferences. ACT4PPP produced sketch cards on all pilot projects and the last newsletter was issued. Besides the baseline paper explaining all Pilot Projects and the projects activities as a more detailed documentation of the entire project, the final PPP compendium, the ACT4PPP framework paper, an expert report evaluating all pilot projects and the policy paper with political recommendations were elaborated and finalised. The LP (PP01), financial manager (PP03) and thematic coordinating partner (PP02) commonly prepared the organisational and management related procedures necessary to ensure a smooth running of the project.