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New Public Procurement Directives


The new EU Directives on Public Procurement, substituting the current Directives (classical and utilities directives), are said to be approved by European Parliament in January 2014 and enter into force in mid-March 2014, as per informed by Claudio Romanini, DG Comp, Legal Affairs, European Commission, during the Nordic Public Procurement Forum 2013, held in Copenhagen on November 19-22, 2013. The new Directives have as their main objective the review and update of the current public procurement regime in the EU. To this end, the proposed legislation aims to balance, on the one hand, the interest of Member States for more flexibility in the award of public contracts and, on the other hand, stricter rules to limit corruption. This dualism has led to the adoption of a legal text that is sometimes ambiguous and even self-contradicting. Also, these new Directives have as a distinguishing feature that their recitals will be of pivotal importance for practitioners and judges alike, as they incorporate in their text key aspects of the regulation that was not possible to expressly include in the articles for political reasons. The new legislation, however, does not introduce too many changes when compared to the current legal regime. Instead, it follows a similar pattern and continues the trend that was set by 2004 Directives. Additionally, the new EU Public Procurement Directives were drafting with the following goals in mind: a) provide more flexibility when negotiating complex public contracts; b) foster the participation of small and medium enterprises in the EU public procurement markets; c) impulse the green public procurement and social/labor aware procurement in the EU; d) set strong and strict rules to limit corruption in the awarding of public contracts. In sum, it is an exciting time for the academic community working on EU/EEA Public Procurement Law as the new Directives will create new legal challenges that, no doubt, will be on the research agenda for the years to come. For the text of the new directives please visit: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2011/0438(COD)#tab-0and http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2011/0439(COD)