States as Market Participants In the U.S. and the EU?
Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies 2013:2
57 Pages Posted: 17 May 2013
Date Written: May 15, 2013
In light of the Europe 2020 strategy, public authorities in the European Union ought to make better use of public procurement in support of general societal goals. The Member States should therefore use their purchasing power to procure goods and services that foster innovation, respect the environment and combat climate change, while also improving employment, public health and social conditions. However, the overarching objective of the procurement rules in the Union is primarily to strengthen the single market and the EU’s competitiveness. An important issue is therefore how much space public authorities have at their disposal in order to support social or environmental objectives. The situation is different in the U.S. where American States can encourage, and in some cases require, public institutions to purchase products produced in the state (i.e., a geographic preference) due to the so called Market Participant Exception. Against this background, the report States as Market Participants in the U.S. and EU? – Public Purchasing and the Environment, written by the American Professor Jason Czarnezki, analyses U.S. law in comparison to EU law and discusses the ability of public authorities to make environmental demands when purchasing products. Given that the EU is presently revising its procurement legislation, the report, published in the context of SIEPS’ research project The Future Single Market, provides a useful analysis to determine the space for social and environmental requirements in EU public procurement law.
Keywords: Market participant, EU law
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