Members of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and representatives of the Council today reached a provisional agreement on the revision of the Directives on Public Procurement (classic and utilities sectors) and on the new proposal for a Directive on Concessions.
“With this agreement, we are putting procurement in the public sector at the service of economic development and growth all over Europe », said Frank Engel MEP, and EPP Group Spokesman on the dossiers on Public Procurement and Utilities.
« One of the achievements is that public authorities will no longer exclusively focus on getting the cheapest deal when awarding contracts. Now, they will go for the best deal », explained Frank Engel.
« A great achievement of this new Directive is that the criteria for the most economically advantageous tender will be the standard award criteria for all the procedures and this can include social and environmental criteria as well », said Frank Engel.
For instance, this Directive now explicitly allows referring to a specific label in the case that a contracting authority intends to procure goods or services bearing a certain label.
Philippe Juvin MEP, Rapporteur on the Concessions Directive, welcomes the political agreement, which constitutes a major step forward for the internal market. It will put an end to a multitude of different rules and interpretations in the Member States.
« Clear rules will apply to the awarding of concession contracts, for both works and services, putting an end to the current patchwork of national rules and interpretations of EU principles and case law », he said.
During the negotiations, misunderstandings about the purpose of the Concessions Directive led to the belief that it would lead to the privatisation of public services. « Nothing could be more wrong », stressed Juvin.
« It will by no means impose privatisation, and this has been made clear in the text. It’s up to the public authorities to choose how they organise their public services. But if they choose to award a concession contract, we now have clear rules which will balance the needs of the parties involved in a contract. »
The issue of the public water sector has been particularly fiercely debated in some Member States.
« To alleviate concerns raised about the privatisation of the water sector by some actors on the public scene, we’ve now excluded water concessions from the Directive », Philippe Juvin concluded.
Public procurement plays an important role in the economy and is an important element in the European Single Market. Public authorities spend around 19% of their GDP on public works, goods and services and the total value of calls for tender represents approximately €420 billion a year in the European Union.
The agreed texts will have to be approved by the Council and then by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. The final vote will take place in plenary in the autumn.
Lire le communiqué sur le site du PPE