State property, Confindustria Nautica: ‘Slide terms defining new concession rules’

Confindustria Nautica reiterates “that it considers a ‘technical postponement’ of the terms for defining the new rules to be applied to state-owned concessions necessary, remaining within the 2024 deadline set by the Competition Law”. This is what the association writes in a note following the meeting that took place with the Minister for European Affairs, Raffaele Fitto, in the context of the consultations requested by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni with the representatives of the companies that work on state property, asking that it be also listened to Assomarinas.

“The Law on Competition – claims Confindustria Nautica – in fact contains some errors and is partly inapplicable and therefore needs to be corrected, moreover, as far as boating is concerned, it does not provide for specific rules applicable to tourist ports. Both the European rules themselves and the Competition Law require an assessment of the availability of resources, i.e. of spaces that can be granted compared to those given in concession (the so-called Mapping), which has not yet been carried out.Finally, the text approved by the Draghi Government is based on principles established by the Council of State, the ruling of which is the subject of an appeal to the United Sections of the Cassation and therefore is not definitive”.

“We have to give the government that has just taken office time to reorganize the matter”, explains the President of Confindustria Nautica, Saverio Cecchi, “in the absence of a deferment, the Mayors will be forced to proceed with the renewal of the concessions without national legislation and without clear rules, in order not to run into the possible contestation of abuse of office.As far as tourist ports are concerned, it is unthinkable that they have such different and partly conflicting rules with those adopted on 28 December last for merchant ports, which should be instead applied to all port basins”, concludes Cecchi, thanking “Minister Lease and I am confident in listening to our requests”.

According to Confindustria Nautica, there are inconsistencies in the Competition Law: the law establishes that the rules for the assignment of public services also apply to ports, but the Bolkestein Directive and the EU Court of Justice expressly exclude ports from this area. The law also requires that “the constant presence of gates” for bathing be ensured, but this would create serious safety problems for people and boats themselves, and obvious operational problems; “the conditions for dividing the areas into small lots are defined, in order to encourage the maximum participation of micro-enterprises”, but this criterion cannot be applied with reference to the construction of tourist ports; for the management of the concession areas, “admission requirements that favor the maximum participation of small-sized enterprises” are identified, but this criterion appears illogical with reference to the concessions of structures dedicated to pleasure boating which can even reach 80 million of euros in value; “preference for completely removable equipment” is given, but this criterion cannot technically find application with reference to the construction of marinas.

Finally, the Competition Law does not incorporate the distinction between concessions granted before 1 January 2010 and those from 1 January 2010 onwards – a distinction established both by the EU Court of Justice and by the Italian administrative judge – it does not deal with the special discipline for concessions non-fungible, i.e. those subservient to another business activity that requires that and not any other concession in order to be exercised.