Are the Procurement Rules a Barrier for Cross-Border Trade within the European Market? A View on Proposals to Lower that Barrier and Spur Growth

Public Procurement Days -- Modernization, Innovation and Growth, Copenhagen February 9-12, 2012

18 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2012

Date Written: January 16, 2012

Abstract

Public procurement rules were introduced in the European legal system as a device mainly intended to help build an effective internal market where competition is not distorted, in search for economic development. According to the supporting Cecchini Report, increasing cross-border competition for public contracts would generate major economic effects (both static and dynamic). Almost 40 years after, it is relevant to see if EU public procurement rules continue to be a boost for the internal market or, on the contrary, have become a true burden and a significant barrier to cross-border trade as some claim. Given the relevance of public procurement in the Europe 2020 Growth Strategy and the proposal for new procurement Directives sponsored by the European Commission, this issue seems particularly timely.

This paper proposes a slightly different approach to the assessment of whether EU public procurement rules are a potential obstacle to cross-border trade -- moving from macroeconomic analysis towards a “better regulation” view of the chances to reduce red tape and simplify procurement processes -- and offers a preliminary appraisal of some of the simplification measures and/or new devices included by the European Commission in the 2011 proposal for new procurement Directives (limiting the analysis to general provisions and, therefore, not covering procurement in the excluded sectors, concessions nor defence and security sensitive procurement).

Keywords: Public procurement, internal market, economic growth, red tape, simplification

JEL Classification: H57, K12, K23, K49, O10

Suggested Citation

Sanchez-Graells, Albert, Are the Procurement Rules a Barrier for Cross-Border Trade within the European Market? A View on Proposals to Lower that Barrier and Spur Growth (January 16, 2012). Public Procurement Days -- Modernization, Innovation and Growth, Copenhagen February 9-12, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1986114

Albert Sanchez-Graells (Contact Author)

University of Bristol - School of Law ( email )

Wills Memorial Building
Queen's Road Clifton
Bristol, BS8 1RJ
United Kingdom

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