Sustainable Public Procurement in the EU
THE LAW OF GREEN AND SOCIAL PROCUREMENTS IN EUROPE, pp. 15-51, R. Caranta and M. Trybus, eds., DJØF, 2010
Posted: 8 Nov 2010
Date Written: September 7, 2010
International and regional public procurement legal instruments adopted in the past has been prompted by a concern for opening up the national procurement market to competition from firms established abroad. This does not mean that public procurement law has ever lived fully insulated from other policy areas. Suffice here to recall that environmental impact assessment has for a long time been a condition precedent for the realization of many public works projects and that social legislation ranging from security on the workplace to accessibility for all is relevant for both design and implementation of public work contracts. In the past decade or so, however, different policy considerations have acquired growing relevance with reference to public procurement legislation properly. Environmental and social issues are being recognised as something deserving consideration along with concerns for wider competition. Fair and open competition may still be the primary consideration in public procurements, but other considerations now figures as of potential relevance, hence the expression “secondary considerations.” Sustainable public procurement – SPP has become a term of art. The evolution is more remarkable in EU law. The public procurement directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC allow for taking into account sustainability concerns at different stages of the procurement cycle. These days a growing number of secondary EU law measures actually impose buying green – and to a lesser extent buying social – to procuring entities.
Keywords: procurement, EU, Green, Social
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