The new generation of public procurement directives, adopted in 2014, provides a framework for a more flexible tendering process. However, are all the provisions flexible enough to take into account social, environmental and innovative aspects?

Public procurement is a recurrent territory-related obstacle to investment. The CoR has already indicated that public procurement rules represent a significant challenge to investment for cities and regions, in particular due to complexity or inefficiency in the public procurement framework and to the excessive length and uncertainty regarding legal procedures. Consequently, the opinion asks the Commission to carry out, within three years of transposition in any Member State, an in-depth assessment of how EU public procurement rules have been transposed into national law and how they are implemented at local and regional level in order to facilitate SMEs’ access to procurement procedures, reduce bureaucratic hurdles and increase the use of strategic procurement. It also underlines that strategic procurement, introduced by the 2014 reform, added a layer of complexity to procurement procedures and, therefore, procurement officers may need further training to avoid uncertainty as regards the legality of adding additional criteria to promote innovative or social and environmental objectives. Naturally, local and regional authorities fully embrace such objectives, but the rapporteur believes that any new EC initiative in the area of public procurement has to be assessed carefully in terms of avoiding administrative burden upon the awarding authorities.

Adoption timetable:

  • 1st discussion and adoption in ECON on 24 April 2018
  • Final adoption in Plenary session of May 2018

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