In policy practice sometimes organizational arrangements appear that at first glance manifest itself as cooperative relations between private organizations, but about which on second thoughts the question can be asked if after all there is an active input from the side of the government. This is for instance the case in the construction of biogas infrastructures. In this article the authors discuss if we can talk about PPC after all. In the debate on governance this question is important because in the design of PPC the public interest involved must be sufficiently guaranteed in terms of control and accountability. On the basis of a confrontation between the results of a literature review and an empirical study of the case of a Green Gas pipeline in North-East Friesland (‘Biogasleiding Noordoost Fryslân’) in the Netherlands, the authors conclude that public steering in practice can take a form in disguise. Using ‘intermediate’ civil law legal persons, governmental influence indeed can be and is exercised during the cooperation. Especially law poses specific demands on control and accountability to take care of public interests, like the promotion of the use of renewable energy. Likewise in this kind of projects, especially in comparison with pure private-private cooperation, the public and if possible even the public law regulation must be safeguarded, for instance by transparency of form and content of steering. Of course this has to be done with preservation of the cooperative nature that is typical of PPC.
|Publication status||Published - 2014|