EU takes Germany to court over rescue transport services
The European Commission initiated legal action against Germany. The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will investigate whether certain regional and local authorities awarded contracts for rescue transport services without applying transparent contract award procedures.
The conflict has been simmering since 2006 when emergency medical service providers from outside Germany complained about the intransparent award procedures.
The European Commission claims that authorities in certain German federal states - Saxony-Anhalt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony and Lower Saxony – violated European public procurement law by awarding rescue service contracts “for several hundred millions of euros” in this “important market” without the required public tender.
The German authorities argued that rescue transport services are not subject to EU law since they are part of the public tasks of the states and involve the exercise of official authority. However, according to the ECJ case-law rescue services are not connected with such exercise of official authority and Member States are obliged to ensure that rescue transport services are awarded in compliance with EU rules on public procurement.
Judgement is expected in 2009.