EU remodels procurement legislation

Reforms to the EU’s public procurement legislation have been agreed by a conciliation committee linking the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

A key aim has been to make the EU’s often complex public procurement rules – which aim to prevent cronyism and closed markets in government spending contracts – more transparent, efficient and comprehensible.

The reforms authorise the electronic tendering of public contracts and the use of electronic signatures. They also allow public authorities to impose environmental and social criteria within selection processes and free utilities and transport operators from having to follow public procurement procedures when purchasing goods and services if they are operating in a fully competitive market (without enjoying subsidies or monopoly rights).