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No 16 (March 99/Mars 99/März 99)
The European Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Italy about a possible violation of Single Market rules requiring public procurement contracts to be awarded under transparent, open and competitive conditions. The reasoned opinion concerns the conditions under which the contract for the design of a new railway station in Bologna was attributed.
In the Commission's opinion, "Metropolis S.p.A.", a company wholly-owned by the national railway company ("Ferrovie dello Stato S.p.A."), failed to respect the requirements of the Directive on procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and telecommunications sectors (93/38/EEC) when it awarded a series of contracts for the architectural design the main station and the station for high speed trains of Bologna. In particular, the contracts were awarded directly without following the procedure laid down by the Directive for inviting competitive bids. The Italian authorities' response to the letter of formal notice sent in June 1998 was not satisfactory. In the absence of a response from the Italian authorities to the reasoned opinion within two months of receipt, the Commission could decide to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
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