Modernising European public procurement

Brussels, 20 December 2011 – The Commission has proposed guidelines for the modernisation of European directives on public procurement. The aim is to ensure the optimal use of funds to foster growth and job creation by simplifying rules and procedures and making them more flexible.

Public authorities spend 18% GDP annually on goods, services and works. In the current economic climate, it is more important than ever that procurement policy encourages efficient tendering processes that allow public authorities and suppliers to conclude transparent and competitive contracts as quickly as possible.

The proposed reforms address a number of issues:

  • To encourage greater consideration for social and environmental criteria such aslife-cycle costs or the integration of vulnerable and disadvantaged persons.
  • To simplify and modernise procedures by extending the use of electronic communication in public procurement and cutting the administrative burden.
  • To encourage access to public procurement for SMEs by introducing incentives to divide tenders into lots and limiting the financial capacity requirements for the submission of a tender.

The proposed directive also covers service concessions, which aim to guarantee effective access to the concessions market for all European businesses, including SMEs. These will help stimulate the development of public-private partnerships, where concessions are the tool of choice.

To read more about EU public procurement policy, please click here.

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