The EU’s Public Procurement Framework. How is the EU’s Public Procurement Framework contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Circular Economy Strategy?

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Series Details PE 648.770
Publication Date April 2020
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The present public procurement directives entered into force in 2014 allowing national authorities enough flexibility to align procurement with social and environmental objectives. However, public authorities have not sufficiently taken up the possibilities to use strategic public procurement to introduce sustainable, green, pre-procurement or innovation-focused tools. The existence of clear Guidelines and tools is essential to provide legal certainty for public procurement officials. In this respect, the European Commission has a central role to play and work is being undertaken to provide guidelines and off-the-shelf solutions.

However, further action is needed to promote strategic public procurement and in particular Green Public Procurement requiring low carbon, life-cycle and circular approaches in public purchases. The EU should increase – in tandem with the provision of assistance and tools – the number of mandatory green procurement requirements, either through technical specifications in the sectoral directives or through delegated acts to the procurement directives. A voluntary approach is not sufficient. Member states should in turn professionalise the public procurement authorities and establish central purchasing bodies or national competence centres. There is a need for many member states to invest in professionalisation, training and ICT tools to mainstream strategic public procurement and in particular Green Public Procurement.

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