In the previous post, “What is public procurement?”, we presented a short introduction to public procurement. Building upon that, the next few posts will focus on specifying certain regulation schemes or figures pertaining to public procurement in different regions. We will start off by discussing the schemes the European Union implements.
Looking at the statistical indicators, the public sector is the biggest single spender in the EU, so it comes as no surprise that the policy makers have worked hard on reforming the regulations regarding public procurement, in hopes it will improve the overall economic situation in the EU. In line with the Single Market policy, the rules regarding public procurement aim to create transparency, fairness and competitiveness.
The new rules, which were introduced on 18 April 2016, clearly state: “Less bureaucracy, more efficiency”. The reform has changed things in four main areas: reducing administrative burden, creating a culture of integrity, addressing societal challenges, and modernising public administrations.
Participation in tenders is made easier for SMEs with the new rules, to encourage greater participation of companies across the EU. Certain thresholds exist with respect to tender values, which govern whether the EU or the national rules will apply to the transactions. Contracts that fall under the minimum indicated value fall under national law; however, they must still respect the general principles of EU law.
Public authorities are prohibited to: discriminate against businesses registered elsewhere in the EU, refer to specific brands, trademarks or patents when requesting a certain product or a service, or refuse documentation, such as diplomas or certificates, issued by another member state. Additionally, all the information regarding the tenders must be equally available across the EU to the interested companies.
In terms of international public procurement, the EU pushes for openness, but other non-EU countries are not equally eager to do the same.
Taking into account a number of indicators, the countries which seem to perform the best when it comes to public procurement in the EU are: Austria, France, Benelux countries, Great Britain, and the Scandinavian countries.
One way to obtain complete information on the available tenders across the EU is by browsing through Tenderio. With the right help, doing business with public authorities can be fast, simple and most importantly effective!
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