Public procurement

Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2018
Content Type ,

Every year, over 250,000 public authorities in the EU spend around 14% of GDP on the purchase of services, works and supplies. In many sectors such as energy, transport, waste management, social protection and the provision of health or education services, public authorities are the principal buyers. Public procurement refers to the process by which public authorities, such as government departments or local authorities, purchase work, goods or services from companies. Examples include the building of a state school, purchasing furniture for a public prosecutor's office and contracting cleaning services for a public university.

To create a level playing field for all businesses across Europe, EU law sets out minimum harmonised public procurement rules. These rules organise the way public authorities and certain public utility operators purchase goods, works and services. They are transposed into national legislation and apply to tenders whose monetary value exceeds a certain amount. For tenders of lower value, national rules apply. Nevertheless, these national rules also have to respect the general principles of EU law.

This website provides information on European public procurement policies drawn-up by the European Commission. A general introduction to public procurement can also be found on Your Europe. For practical information, for instance on current business opportunities (Tenders Electronic Daily) or on how to upload calls for tenders, please visit the Publication Office’s SIMAP website.

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Related Links
EU: EUR-Lex: Right of establishment and freedom to provide services: Public contracts

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