The European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a ruling in case C-357/06, on 18 December 2007. The ECJ held an Italian law to be inconsistent with EU public procurement law, because it prevented bidders from participating in tenders to provide public services solely on the basis that the bidder is not constituted as a company with share capital. The case arose following a reference from an Italian court in the context of the award of a contract for environmental hygiene services by a municipal council. The ECJ held that the appellant in the national court was entitled to take part in the tender procedure on the basis of its existing legal form as a temporary joint venture partnership. EU procurement law prevents contracting authorities from requiring groups of service providers from assuming a specific legal form in order to submit a tender.