Public law news
Overview of the latest public law news
New regulatory framework for real estate transactions in Flemish region
6 August 2019
Since January 2019, a new regulatory framework has been in place for real estate transactions carried out by Flemish and local administrations.
The Decree of 30 November 2018 aims to create a separate legal framework for real estate transactions carried out by the Flemish community and the Flemish region. The decree imposes additional formal obligations for the Flemish Government when transferring immovable property or rights in rem. The threshold for parliamentary approval when transferring immovable property has also increased.
As regards the local authorities, new articles were implemented in the applicable legislation as there was previously a lack of regulatory framework.
Flemish parliament adopts new framework decree on administrative enforcement
18 March 2019
On 13 March 2019, the Flemish parliament adopted a new framework decree on administrative enforcement regarding violations of Flemish regulations.
The new Flemish framework decree serves as an additional general legal framework for sectoral regulations. Dealing with supervision, investigation, prosecution and fines, it also aims for legal protection of citizens.
The federal law on municipal administrative sanctions of 24 June 2013 remains the general framework regulation for administrative sanctioning at local level.
A Clean Planet for All: the EU Commission calls for a climate neutral Europe by 2050
4 December 2018
On 28 November 2018, the European Commission launched A Clean Planet for all, a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050.
The purpose of this long-term strategy is not to set targets, but to create a vision and sense of direction, plan for it, and inspire as well as enable stakeholders, researchers, entrepreneurs and citizens alike to develop new and innovative industries, businesses and associated jobs.
The Court of Justice of the European Union remains implacable regarding inadequate water treatment in Member States
6 June 2018
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has again reprimanded Italy in relation to urban waste water. Italy failed to meet its obligation to deliver municipal waste water collection systems and/or urban waste water treatment systems to 109 urban agglomerations, as required by a Directive.
Flemish Regional Act regarding Social Impact Bonds entered into force on 18 May 2018
25 May 2018
On 18 May 2018, the Flemish Regional Act regarding the implementation of social impact bonds (the “SIB Regional Act”) entered into force.
In a social impact bond (SIB), a partnership comprising the government, investors, service delivery organisations and potentially an intermediary is formed to tackle a specific social issue. If the solution achieves the agreed-upon social outcomes, the government pays the investors according to a pre-agreed scale. As such, the non-performance risk shifts from government to investors, whose financial return is based on the achievement of results.
New thresholds for public procurement procedures 2018-2019
19 December 2017
On 18 December 2017, the new European thresholds for public procurement procedures during the period 2018-2019 were announced. These thresholds will be incorporated in Belgian procurement legislation by ministerial decree and are fully applicable to all procedures that will begin as of 1 January 2018.
Belgian Council of State’s legislative section to publish its advisory opinions
10 October 2016
With the aim of bringing increased legislative transparency, the Council of State’s legislative section will be publishing its advisory opinions, which were previously often kept confidential. Once the applicable law enters into force, on 1 January 2017 at the latest, these advisory opinions will be made available online on the Council of State website. The over 30,000 opinions issued before this new law’s entry into force will also be published before 2019.
New law on public procurement – which changes lie ahead?
3 June 2016
On 12 May 2016, the new law on public procurement was adopted in the Chamber of Representatives. Laga’s newsflash of 13 May 2016 already cited some principal themes in the new law.Some specific changes are outlined in this text.
PPP Chair 10th Advisory Board: Social Impact Bonds
3 June 2016
On 31 May 2016, the PPP Chair at the VUB assembled a tenth edition experts panel to discuss the possible application of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) in Belgium and its Flanders region. For this edition of the advisory board, Laga invited a number of speakers to share their vision on this form of PPP. The panel members were Pierre-Louis Christiane (Analyst KOIS invest), Jan Vander Elst (Head of Finance, King Bauduoin Foundation), Laudy Konings (Director, Deloitte Nederland) and Sjoerd Van der Smissen (Partner, Deloitte Nederland). Kathleen De hornois (Partner, Laga) was the moderator for the evening.
Modifications to Flemish legislation regarding inter-municipalities and provinces
24 May 2016
The recent modifications to the Flemish Decree regarding inter-municipal cooperation are expected to be published soon in the Belgian Official Journal. In 2014, the Flemish Government's coalition agreement announced a framework reform for inter-municipal cooperation. The latest modifications are the first accomplishments in this reform and are of great importance to some major inter-municipalities.
How does the kilometre charge affect ongoing contracts?
26 April 2016
On 1 April 2016, the long announced kilometre charge system entered into force. After the technical risks, more practical questions are being raised, such as the possibility to bill eventual extra costs.
Whether these costs can be billed or not depends firstly on the nature of the co-contracting party. If this concerns a ‘private’ client, it should be verified whether billing these costs is possible with respect to the specific contract. In principle, this will only be possible if a price revision clause is included in the contract, allowing price revision based on (amongst others) charges, taxes or other unforeseen circumstances.
New thresholds for public procurement procedures 2016 - 2017
30 November 2015
On 24 November 2015, the new European thresholds for public procurement procedures during the 2016 – 2017 period were announced (1). These thresholds will be incorporated in Belgian procurement legislation by ministerial decree and are fully applicable on all procedures that will be started as of 1 January 2016.
Walloon government adopts implementing decisions further to the Decree on commercial establishments
28 May 2015
On 5 February 2015, the Decree concerning commercial establishments was adopted by the Walloon Parliament. This Decree has been implemented by the Walloon government through four decisions.
- The first decision further elaborates upon the criteria for granting or refusing permits.
- The second decision establishes the composition and operation of the Commerce Observatory and the Appeal Committee.
- The third decision establishes the procedural rules attached to the application for a permit.
- The fourth decision confirms the competent officials’ appointment.
The Decree as well as the decisions implementing it will enter into force on 1 June 2015.
Flemish Government Decision implementing complex projects Decree published in Belgian Official Journal
3 March 2015
On 21 January 2015, the Flemish Government’s Decision implementing the 25 April 2014 Decree concerning complex projects was published in the Belgian Official Journal.
In the past, important Flemish social investment projects were subject to a variety of different permit procedures. The Flemish Government drafted the Decree on complex projects in order to introduce a unique procedure to obtain an integrated permit for such projects, issued in one supervisory decision.
The manager of a complex project is however not obliged to go through this unique and integrated permit procedure. In other words, he/she can still opt to complete the different permit procedures separately in order to have his/her project permitted.
Both the Decree on complex projects and the Decision implementing this decree entered into force on 1 March 2015.