Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Local and regional governments as service providers

Public procurement - 03.12.2003

Public procurement legislative package : 'Good news for Europe's towns and for the environment"
The agreement reached on 2 December 2003 between the Council and Parliament on the public procurement legislative package must be warmly applauded. The deal enables local and regional authorities to take environmental factors into account in awarding contracts.

CEMR's environment spokeswoman Lucy Swan says: 'For the first time, EU legislation makes it clear that local and regional authorities will be free to choose greener products for the benefit of their citizens. The original proposal would have forced them to go for the cheapest offer, regardless of its potential damage to the environment. We are grateful to members of the European Parliament for their support. Public procurement needs to be a key part of Europe's sustainable development strategy."
'This can have wide repercussions, adds Lucy Swan. For instance, think of all the meals provided daily by public authorities throughout Europe to schools, hospitals, elderly people”¦ In future, they will be able to offer healthier food rather than being obliged to pick the cheapest option".
The agreement upholds the European Court of Justice's reasoning in the 'Helsinki bus case", where the city had chosen a slightly more expensive tender for buses that produced less pollution.
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