Public procurement is the purchase of goods, works and services by public bodies. Because public bodies spend a significant proportion of a country’s gross domestic product, the EU has issued a set of rules (or directives) to make sure that the way they buy does not distort competition nor affect trade between member states. The directives ensure that companies throughout the EU can compete for public contracts throughout the EU, contracts are awarded fairly and all potential bidders are treated equally, in accordance with the general EU Treaty principles of transparency, non-discrimination and equal treatment.
In essence, public bodies must put all their contracts above a certain value out to tender and award the contract only to the bidder that meets the stated criteria.
Nearly two years ago, the European Commission published its proposals for reform of the rules on public procurement. In addition to issuing draft directives setting out amendments to the existing procurement rules on works and service contracts entered into by a contracting authority (public bodies as set out in the directives), the Commission issued a draft directive on concession contracts…
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