On 3 October, the European Commission presented an initiative to carry out procurement more efficiently and in a sustainable manner, while making full use of digital technologies to simplify and accelerate procedures.
This ‘procurement package’, which has the purpose to strengthen the Single Market and as part of the continuous effort to stimulate investment in the EU, has four main strands:
definition of priority areas for improvement,
voluntary ex-ante assessment of large infrastructure projects,
recommendation on professionalisation of public buyers,
consultation on stimulating innovation through public procurement;
the deadline is 2 January 2018.
Through this new initiative, the Commission aims to encourage Member States to develop a strategic approach to procurement policies, focusing on six priorities: 1) make greater use of innovative, green and social criteria in awarding public contracts; 2) make sure that public buyers have all the necessary professional skills; 3) improve access for SMEs to procurement markets in the EU, to stimulate cross-border procurement, and for EU companies in third countries; 4) increase the transparency, integrity and quality of procurement data; 5) fully use of digital technologies; 6) increase cooperation among public buyers across the EU.
More information here:
Large public buyers meeting, 6 December, Brussels
To promote the use of public procurement of innovation and facilitate the links between public buyers and suppliers, the European Commission, DG GROW, organises a ‘Big public buyers meeting’. The aim of the meeting is to provide public buyers with useful information concerning calls and projects, to identify what are the elements supporting joint cross-border projects, as well as to present good practices in the field of public procurement of innovation. The Commission will also talk about the digital transformation of public procurement, with a focus on the transition to e-procurement and the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD).
Conference joining forces in public procurement, 7 December, Brussels
To promote the establishment of a lasting partnership between different actors, the Commission organises a high-level conference on public procurement ‘Joining forces in public procurement to power investment’. This event is a continuation of the debate initiated in May 2016 in Tallinn on award criteria in public procurement and continued in June 2017 in Paris on strategic public procurement. During the conference, the following issues will be tackled: professionalisation of public procurers, public procurement for large infrastructures and role of transparency, integrity and data for better policy making. The Commission has invited to join the debate the EU Presidency, the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, and EUROCITIES President, Daniel Termont, mayor of Ghent.
Next WG public procurement and public services meeting
The working group on public services and public procurement will meet on 9 November in Brussels. The discussion will focus on the new Commission's initiative and on public procurement as a tool for innovative, social, environmental and economic development policies. Moreover, the working group will discuss the impact of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) on European public services. The agenda and the registration form will be available soon on EUROCITIES website.