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Study |

Shaping sustainable public procurement laws in the European Union

Greens/EFA Study



The current EU public procurement (and concessions) framework laid down in the 2014 directives enables Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) to a relevant extent, but it also sets some unnecessary hindrances and falls well short of mandating SPP.

The EU Green Deal has set ambitious targets for the EU that may be achieved only if all available tools - including procurement - are harnessed to this end. This means asserting the initiatives flowing from the EU Green Deal with provisions on mandatory SPP, including going beyond Green Public Procurement (GPP).

While the goals set in the EU Green Deal are vital, the social aspect of procurement should also be reinforced. This Analysis focuses first of all on the legislative initiatives table by the European Commission.

Most mandatory SPP initiatives cannot but take place at a sectoral level, but consistency in future legislation needs to be achieved. At the end of the day, a new approach to public buying will have to be devised, ultimately leading as well to changes in the 2014 Public Procurement Directives.

The 2014 Directives fall short of ensuring that economic operators engaged in environmental and social dumping are barred from procurement markets, thus imperilling the competitive playing field. More generally, the current provisions relevant for SPP are not fully coordinated.

This Study is conducted in light of the Greens/EFA Group’s long-standing demand to make sustainability criteria mandatory in public procurement by formulating concrete proposals for how the EU public procurement framework could be adapted or complemented in order to drive such sustainability considerations in public purchasing throughout the entire EU.



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European Union
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Responsible MEPs

Anna Cavazzini
Anna Cavazzini
Kim Van Sparrentak
Kim Van Sparrentak

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