Brussels public cleaning agency accused of receiving 'illegal funding'

Brussels public cleaning agency accused of receiving 'illegal funding'

A complaint for ongoing "illegal funding" has been lodged at the European Commission against public cleaning company Bruxelles Propreté (ABP), the association who lodged the complaint said on Monday.

Go4circle, an umbrella association of private enterprises in the waste collecting sector, said ABP continued to benefit from "unlawful state aid," even after the Brussels Court of First Instance had already ruled against them for this a year prior.

"It's apparent that 365 days later, nothing has changed in practise", Go4circle's Managing Director, Stany Vaes, said. "Our intention was never to question ABP's public services, but to ensure there is fair competition on the market."

Vaes said the public cleaning agency's subsidy augmented yearly, citing an increase of 244 percent since it was first created. He accused ABP of using the funds to bolster its commercial presence in Brussels.

"ABP receives at least €170 million each year (...), that it should only allocate to its public services," he said. "ABP is a major actor in the market and it has obtained over 190,000 commercial contracts."

"The problem is clear: [ABP's] commercial and public service activities are not clearly distinguished", Vaes continued, adding that ABP benefits from "mixed subsidies for its commercial activities."

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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