On October 5, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued Judgment No. C-567/15 which further rules on the requirements of public equivalent bodies under EU law. The Court stated that a company fully owned by a contracting authority, whose business is essential to allow its parent company to pursue the public interest, must be classified as a ‘public equivalent body’. The main requirement to be taken into consideration is to assess whether the business of the company is essential for the contracting authority to carry out its activities and to reach its corporate goals, as well as to pursue the public interest: this is because the company might by guided by non-economic considerations.
Operating in some cases in the competitive market would not per se affect the nature of the company as ‘public equivalent body’.
This Judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union is in line with European Case Law which tends to interpret the notion of public equivalent body broadly so as to avoid the risk that the contracting authorities be guided by considerations other than economic ones which could favor discriminate among bidders or prefer national candidates.