The Council today adopted conclusions on “A new level of ambition for a competitive single market”. These conclusions are the Council’s response to recent calls from the European Council for an integrated, forward-looking approach to the single market, which should connect all relevant policies and remove remaining unjustified barriers and avoiding creating new ones, in particular on freedom to provide services and on digitalisation.
One of the key elements often mentioned as a raison d’être for the European Union, certainly in this period of elections for the European Parliament, are its concerns for the rule of law and fundamental rights and values. Fraud and corruption undermine this, but not only: they can also have substantial economic consequences and eat away the trust of EU citizens in the EU and its institutions.
Municipalities and other public authorities across Europe spend huge amounts of money on the purchase of goods, services and works each year – according to European Commission estimates, public procurement accounts for 14% of EU GDP1. A very wide variety of items are procured, from office supplies, to canteen catering services, from street furniture to the construction of municipal buildings. In almost every case some form of transportation of people or products is required to deliver the contract.The BuyZET project aimed to understand the impact of this spending on transportation flows in EU urban areas, to see how procurement may be used to best support the shift to sustainable mobility.
The City of Torres Vedras won the European Green Leaf in 2015 for its actions on sustainability. Torres Vedras is part of the Region of Lisbon and has a population of around 80,000 people.
The City of Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city, with a procurement volume of around €0.9 billion per year. Malmö has been actively implementing sustainable procurement over many years, which it defines as procurement that helps to achieve the goals of the Environmental Program for Malmö City 2009-2020 and United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 – Sustainable Production and Consumption.
To facilitate the use of the ESPD, the Commission developed a free, web-based system for Member States and businesses. This was a transitional solution that was always supposed to be in place only until market solution become available.
On 5 May 2019, Australia joined the international Government Procurement Agreement. This gives EU companies access to Australia’s procurement market, estimated to be worth €69 billion annually.
The European Parliament has launched an open call for tender for a multiple framework service contract for the provision of external expertise. It is intended to support the work of the IMCO Committee by enabling it to order studies, in-depth analyses, briefings and workshops. It is divided into three lots: Lot 1: Internal Market (including the Customs Union and Public Procurement) Lot 2: Digital Single Market Lot 3: Consumer Protection (including Economic and Legal Aspects of Consumer Policy)
Since its creation in 2017, the Network of First Instance Review Bodies on Public Procurement has strengthened cooperation between national review bodies in the EU. These bodies help ensure that companies can challenge the award of procurement contracts by public authorities. The Network has received strong support from EU countries and will continue to encourage further exchanges and collaboration to support the efficient functioning of national review bodies.
In the European Union, public procurement accounts for 14% of GDP demonstrating the high potential of public procurement to support policy objectives, to stimulate innovation and hence, jobs and economic growth.
Public procurement as a tool has largely failed to help administrations and companies cross the ‘valley of death’ for digital and data-driven solutions between small-scale experimentation and real-life scale-up across Europe. The net result is a European digital transformation with brakes on due to the inadequate risk profiles along the innovation cycles. Strategic cooperation and interoperability between public administrations across Europe can help to lower the risks for first movers while helping SMEs to create scalable markets for innovative solutions across Europe.
Update – presentations from the above event are available.
New guidance developed by the European Commission on green public procurement (GPP) and selected best practice from the public sector will be presented and discussed during this webinar.