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Public Procurement In Europe - Public Procureme...


To create a level playing field for businesses across Europe, EU law sets out minimum harmonised public procurement rules. These rules govern the way public authorities and certain public utility operators purchase goods, works and services. They are transposed into national legislation and apply to tenders whose monetary value exceeds a certain amount. For tenders of lower value, national rules apply. Nevertheless, these national rules also have to respect the general principles of EU law.




Public Procurement in Europe - Public Procureme...



This website provides information on European public procurement policies. A general introduction to public procurement is available on Your Europe. If you are looking for business opportunities in any EU country, please visit Tenders Electronic Daily. For information on grants and procurement carried out by EU institutions, please visit the Funding and Tenders Portal.


The public sector can use procurement to boost jobs, growth and investment, and to create an economy that is more innovative, resource and energy efficient, and socially-inclusive. High quality public services depend on modern, well-managed and efficient procurement.


Under EU public procurement rules, contracting authorities may take multiple aspects into account when purchasing works, goods or services. Examples include protecting the environment, supporting social considerations and fostering innovation. However, 55% of procurement procedures use lowest price as the only award criterion for public contracts. This indicates that public buyers are probably not paying enough attention to quality, sustainability and innovation.


Professionalisation policies at national level are essential to ensure buyers have the necessary skills, knowledge and integrity. They need to address training and career management of public procurement practitioners, and to provide tools to make the procurement process more efficient (e.g. e-procurement tools, guidelines, templates).


In October 2017, the European Commission adopted a 'recommendation on the professionalisation of public procurement' to encourage EU countries to take steps to increase the professionalism of contracting authorities.


The EU advocates open international public procurement markets and has committed itself to granting market access to its own public procurement markets. The section on international public procurement provides information on the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with various countries, the International Procurement Instrument, and cooperation with enlargement and neighbourhood countries.


The Remedies Directives set minimum national review standards to ensure that rapid and effective means of redress are available in all EU countries when an economic operator with an interest in a public procurement procedure believes that it has been run in violation of the EU's public procurement directives and their corresponding national rules. In 2017 the Network of First Instance Review Bodies on Public Procurement was created to strengthen the remedies system and cooperation between national review bodies in the EU.


Improved and more accessible data on public procurement will make it possible to better assess the performance of procurement policies, optimise the interaction between public procurement systems, and shape future strategic decisions. The European Commission advocates for the set-up of publicly accessible contract registers, which publish awarded contracts and their amendments. Enabling the reporting of corruption by setting up effective reporting mechanisms and protecting whistleblowers against retaliation can also contribute to improving transparency and saving public money.


eProcurement refers to the use of electronic communications by public sector organisations when buying supplies and services or tendering public works. Increasing the use of eProcurement in Europe can generate significant savings for taxpayers. These savings would maximise the efficiency of public spending in the current context of fiscal constraints. eProcurement can also provide a new source of economic growth and jobs, including through the facilitation of access to public procurement contracts by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


Contracting authorities are rarely buying together with only 11% of procedures in the EU carried out through cooperative procurement. This is a missed opportunity as buying in bulk can result in better prices and higher quality goods and services. It can also help contracting authorities exchange public procurement know-how.


The European Commission aims to promote joint cross-border public procurement and support training on SME friendly policies. This will help buyers work together, learn from each other, and ensure better value for money.


The Big Buyers Initiative is a European Commission platform for promoting collaboration between big public buyers in implementing strategic public procurement. Public procurement can be a key tool in driving the development of innovative goods and services on the European market. By working together, and pooling their resources, cities, central purchasing bodies, and other major public procurers can maximise their market power and impact.


Europe's public authorities are major consumers. By using their purchasing power to choose environmentally friendly goods, services and works, they can make an important contribution to sustainable consumption and production - what we call Green Public Procurement (GPP) or green purchasing.


To be effective, GPP requires the inclusion of clear and verifiable environmental criteria for products and services in the public procurement process. The European Commission and a number of European countries have developed guidance in this area, in the form of national GPP criteria. The challenge of furthering takes up by more public sector bodies so that GPP becomes common practice still remains. As does the challenge of ensuring that green purchasing requirements are somewhat compatible between Member States - thus helping create a level playing field that will accelerate and help drive the single market for environmentally sound goods and services.


As part of the GPP Helpdesk service, a webinar about Public Procurement of Nature-Based Solutions will take place on 06 October (11:00-12:15 CET). This webinar aims to address this issue by providing public procurers with a better understanding of the topic and inspire them to take the first step towards this journey. Find out more about the agenda here and register here


The European Commission has developed a series of five new Life Cycle Costing (LCC) tools, to help public procurers make more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly decisions. Tools are now available for Computers and Monitors, Indoor Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Vending Machines and Imaging Equipment.


The European Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for public space maintenance. The use of these criteria has the potential to considerably reduce environmental impacts from public space maintenance, for instance by setting requirements on:


The European Commission has developed a series of new Life Cycle Costing (LCC) tools, to help public procurers make more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly decisions. Specific tools already exist for Computers and Monitors, Indoor Lighting and Outdoor Lighting. Vending Machines and Imaging Equipment tools will soon follow.


The European Commission has just published a completely revised version of the GPP Training Toolkit. The Toolkit consists of training material aimed at supporting contracting authorities (public procurers) in how they do green procurement. It contains six independent modules addressing the most important aspects on how to assess needs and engage the market (prior to tendering), circular procurement, strategic and legal aspects of GPP. Ten operational modules cover the environmental issues of several product/service groups. Training activities supported by the European Commission and based on the GPP training toolkit are being organised in 11 EU Members States.


A new brochure on Public Procurement for a Circular Economy has been published by the European Commission. The brochure provides introductory guidance and good practice on the points where public procurement can be used to support the transition to a circular economy. As well as considering the policy framework and strategies such as strategic thinking and engaging the market, the brochure provides guidance on identifying where and how to make a purchase more circular according to the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. Alongside each of these sections, good practice examples are also provided, demonstrating how circular economy principles are already being implemented across Europe. The brochure builds on the direction set in the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy by providing a range of practical steps for using green public procurement (GPP) to drive forward the transition to a circular economy. Visit the publications page to download the brochure.


The Commission has just published new voluntary EU GPP criteria for furniture, an area with a high annual spend by public authorities. A major change from the existing GPP criteria for furniture (published in 2008) is the introduction, in addition to classic furniture purchasing, of sections on the procurement of furniture refurbishment and of end-of-life services. Those new areas aim at prolonging the life span of furniture items, thus reflecting a reinforcement of circular economy aspects in EU GPP criteria.


The latest data on performance in EU countries can be found in the Single Market Scoreboard. The indicators in the scoreboard present a simplified picture of how countries are performing in key aspects of public procurement.


ProcurCompEU is a tool designed by the European Commission to support the professionalisation of public procurement. By defining 30 key competences, it provides a common reference for public procurement professionals in the European Union and beyond. It recognizes and supports public procurement as a strategic function that delivers public investment for sustainable growth. 041b061a72


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