E Public Procurement in Europe : Public Management , Technologies and Processes of Change

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European public procurement course: deciding award criteria - Procurement training - Purchasing

In order to save money and to ensure fair procedures, the legislation that concerns conflict of interest and transparency was strengthened. Furthermore, consultations with companies, which may lead to favouring of companies that are involved, have been more strictly regulated. Lastly, the grounds for exclusions have been extended and governance measures to enhance transparency have been introduced European Commission d European Commission. The introduction of these policy instruments can also be classified as second order change.

Another example of second order change, which was introduced after the financial crisis, is the shortening of the time limits for participation and submission of tenders in order to accelerate procurement procedures European Commission European Commission. In order to achieve these goals, the rules for contracting authorities were simplified. Nowadays, authorities have greater freedom to choose which type of procedure they desire Art.

Also, since the distinction between priority and non-priority services was abolished, the directives established two new procedures to widen the choice for contracting authorities: the innovative partnership and a less strict regime for social, health and other defined services. These afore-mentioned second order changes concern policy settings as such and were mainly advocated by officials from the Commission and the EU member states. The economic crisis created the momentum to place procurement on top of the political agenda. As a result, the political discourse was widened from primarily including civil servants and lawyers to policy-makers and politicians in all EU institutions European Commission European Commission.

Edler , E. Uyarra , and J. Procurement is believed to ensure smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth European Commission European Commission.


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This new goal was formulated when debating the Europe strategy. When adopting the new procurement directives, a new hierarchy of goals was introduced with regards to the specification, selection, and the award of contracts. These changes can therefore be classified as third order. Another innovation in the new procurement regulation is the inclusion of common societal goals as an award criterion. This includes environmental, social, and innovation aspects. In light of the economic crisis, the widening of award criteria should contribute to tackle unemployment and to integrate vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the labour market.

Together with environmental aspects, these new goals are all headline targets for sustainable and inclusive growth in the Europe strategy that should emerge Europe from the crisis European Commission European Commission. Brussels: European Public Service Union.

Moreover, certain labels are introduced for attesting that a product fulfils these requirements. In the green procurement policy, the whole production cycle is considered. The change includes the general production of a product and under which conditions it is produced and traded, the assessing of the value for money in the light of environmental aspects, and the promotion of life-cycle costs European Commission g European Commission.

Sector Dialogues. EU and Brazil discuss best practices in public procurement

Member states and public authorities have to ensure global and EU social and labour law provisions as well as national collective agreements. Enterprises that fail to do so can be excluded from the procedure. Moreover, since the objective is to avoid social dumping within the EU, public authorities must exclude low tenders if they do not comply with these obligations.

Furthermore, public contracts are nowadays also awarded on grounds of social criteria. Public authorities may consider the whole production process and accept a bid with the best working conditions in the manufacturing of a product. These social and labour obligations apply to the whole contract European Commission c European Commission.

With an emphasis on social inclusion, procurement procedures can be also reserved for certain companies that, for example, aim to integrate disabled or disadvantaged groups or persons Art. The objective is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Public authorities are able to award contracts due to innovative solutions for new processes, technologies or materials via the innovative partnership procedure European Commission h European Commission.

Accordingly, in comparison to the old provisions, there is a change of ratio. Whereas the price was the sole selection criterion in the old provisions, the new provisions offer the possibility of a best-quality ratio with selection criteria that are also based on environmental, innovative, social and labour aspects. To sum up, the policy changes in the area of procurement are not all traced back to the economic crisis. Put differently, many of the legal adjustments and clarifications first and second order change can be seen as results of a path-dependent dynamic that most likely would have been introduced also without a crisis situation.

However, it is also clear that the crisis was an exogenous factor that provided a window of opportunity to move procurement to the top of the political agenda and to open up a broad political discourse within all EU institutions. In the wake of the crisis, the predominant actors advocating certain procurement policies at the EU level changed from civil servants to more influential policy-makers and politicians. This allowed for a third order change by introducing a change of ratio within the selection criteria, the existing setting, and the adoption of new policy goals in this area by including societal objectives.


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However, a paradigm shift in the EU policy on procurement has not been observed. The heightened importance of the CJEU to procurement policy, at the expense of member states, can also be seen as an example of third order change. While changes in case law promoted a path-dependent dynamic by adding new provisions to the already existing rules, the CJEU continuously moved from the periphery to the political centre and brought about a shift of competences from the member states to the EU level.

In this respect, we observe a new logic of action which provoked displacement. As relevant provisions were included in the Treaties, and in the directives, the Court was encouraged to determine the scope of obligations on a case-by-case basis, thereby giving itself an increasingly dominant role in procurement policy Semple Semple, A. European Procurement Law. Copenhagen : Djoef. Thus, it can be concluded that the CJEU positioned public procurement as a policy instrument for increased European integration see also Bovis Bovis, C.

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EU and Brazil discuss best practices in public procurement

Policy change in public procurement. Public procurement is an integrated part of the European internal market that is considered crucial for lifting the EU out of the crisis. However, whereas EU institutions largely see procurement as a tool for enhanced market integration, member states have often tried to shield themselves from external competition Bovis Bovis, C.

Thus, while the overarching goal of harmonisation has dominated the field of procurement since the s, it is all but clear how these contradictory pressures of integration and disintegration play out in times of profound economic crisis. Therefore, this article has attempted to answer the following question: Are the changes in the EU procurement policy subsequent to the economy crisis characterised by a development towards integration or disintegration? By comparing the new and old procurement regime, the article contributes to the literature by showing that the economic crisis led to further harmonisation and a widening of the political discourse on harmonisation.

IBIMA Publishing National models of public (e)-procurement in Europe

Since the s, EU procurement has been marked by policy continuity and path-dependency, and the article shows that the harmonisation was further enhanced by the crisis. However, the article also finds that the economic crisis created a momentum that broadened the political discourse from primarily including civil servants to also including higher level policy-makers and politicians in all EU institutions.

Moreover, the CJEU case law brought about a third order change since the CJEU continuously moved from the periphery to the political centre and brought about a shift of competences from the member states to the EU level. The CJEU, thus, managed to position public procurement as policy instrument for greater European integration. In the aftermath of the economic crisis, procurement became a more pronounced policy instrument for market integration that is also highlighted as crucial in the Europe objectives.

Specifically, the new procurement procedures the new light regime for specific services and the innovative partnership , and especially the inclusion of common societal goals as award criteria, implies a clear shift of policy goals. For the first time, societal award criteria — next to the price as the previously sole criteria — were pursued. An interesting aspect, moreover, is that social aspects as award criteria for procurement contracts were introduced for the first time when member states were faced with stark budgetary constraints and financial pressures.

However, despite greater market integration, the new criteria may also be used at member states level for favouring local suppliers and enable protectionism. These possibilities need to be analysed in future. This may imply further and more profound paradigm shifts. Whether or not this is the case is, however, a question for future research. I thank two anonymous reviewers and Karl Loxbo for valuable comments.

E Public Procurement in Europe Public Management , Technologies and Processes of Change

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author. Table 1. Skip to Main Content. Search in: This Journal Anywhere. Advanced search. Submit an article Journal homepage. Published online: 17 Sep Measuring policy change and operationalisation EU procurement: first and second order change Procurement policy in times of crisis Conclusions References.

Original Article. EU public procurement policy: the economic crisis as trigger for enhanced harmonisation. ABSTRACT While previous research on the impact of the economic crisis on EU policy has primarily focused on the internal market and financial market regulations, the effect on public procurement has so far been neglected. EU procurement policy The internal market has always been the core of the European integration process. The economic crisis as a critical juncture?

Measuring policy change and operationalisation Empirically, this study compares the old and new procurement regime in order to analyse change over time. EU public procurement policy: the economic crisis as trigger for enhanced harmonisation All authors. Brigitte Pircher. Published online: 17 September CSV Display Table. EU procurement: first and second order change When comparing the old and new EU procurement regime, we see that most changes are the result of policy learning based on past experiences in particular the jurisprudence of the CJEU and new information in the wake of new conditions brought about by the economic crisis.

Procurement policy in times of crisis First and second order change The economic crisis severely undermined the economy of EU member states.