short history

(8 October 2003) Many public authorities have contracts with private sector contractors for supplies, works and services. The European Union has several directives dating back to the 1970s, which apply to these contracts. EPSU has followed the European Union's procurement policies since 1990, issued several opinions and policy papers [->127], and has established a dedicated Task Force to this end (for more information about this Task Force, please contact EPSU Secretariat).

EPSU, our sister Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and ETUC have consistently argued for a social dimension in public procurement. Our demands have been recognised by the European Parliament but they remain ignored by the Commission. In May 2000, the Commission submitted a proposal to replace the current directives by 2 new directives: the directive on the public supply contracts, public service contracts and public works contracts (2000/0115(COD) - the so-called ‘classical directive') and the directive on coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy and transport sectors (2000/0117(COD) - the so-called ‘sectoral' directive). These draft directives have been submitted to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers under the co-decision procedure.

06 November 2003

Council and EP Differ

The Council and the European Parliament did not come to an agreement on the public procurement directives during their conciliation meeting on 4 November. The two delegations left each other without reaching a compromise on taking environmental and social considerations into account when awarding public contracts. Next conciliation meeting is foreseen for end of November. Deadline is on 11 December.

03 October 2003

The European Parliament adopted a number of amendments including on social and green procurement. EPSU and the Coalition for Green and Social Procurement actively support these amendments. Please find further information including the Council's position second reading.

17 June 2003 - EP Committee votes on procurement

The Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament voted on the amendments to the so-called Zappala reports on public procurement, 17 June 2003. The Committee step back from its progressive position adopted in first reading by rejecting a number of positive amendments on the Council posiion. Theconservative majority adopted and amendment on the award criteria that restricts the possibilities for municipalities and other public authorities to use social, ethical and environmental criteria and to take equal treatment policies into account. The Committee voted also in favour of a false friend amendment of the conservatives on collective agreements, only allowing those that are declared generally binding. In several EU member states these do not exists. The amendment is therefore poisoned and undermine agreements. The EPSU task force on procurement as well as the Coalition on Green and Social Procurement held meetings to determine their strategy on 19 June. For more information and an EPSU evaluation, please contact jwgoudriaan@epsu.org