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

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Public procurement - 08.10.2003

Public procurement legislative package : Local government calls for Council to uphold Parliament's key amendments
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) has urged its national associations of local and regional government to exert pressure on their respective national authorities to support two key amendments adopted by the European Parliament on the public procurement legislative package.
These amendments, and others, are currently being debated by the Conciliation Committee made up of representatives from both the Council and the Parliament.
One issue is award criteria. The parliament's amendment is based on a ECJ ruling (the Helsinki Bus Case - C-513/99) , and would allow for the possibility of greener procurement practices. Local authorities should be allowed to choose more environmentally friendly products and services without being bound to narrow economic criteria.
The second is about competitive dialogue. The Parliament's amendments provide much needed clarity and flexibility to the whole process of public procurement by introducing a new definition of 'complex contracts" . It would enable contracting authorities to fine-tune very complex procurements, where it is difficult to predict which criteria will be the most important ones.
CEMR believes that if both amendments were dropped by the Conciliation Committee the new legislation would not only contradict the EU's stance to protect the environment and promote sustainable development, but would in fact not provide the flexibility and clarity that was intended with the revision of the directives at the outset.
For more information on this issue, please contact Lucy Swan :
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