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Public procurement - 08.08.2003
European local and regional governments welcome EP vote on Public procurement directives
Future European legislation on public procurement will be greener thanks to the lobbying of European local and regional governments.
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions welcomes the result of the European parliament second reading of the Public procurement directives on 2 July. The vote overturns the view of the Council and the Legal Affairs Committee of the European parliament that local authorities should only use economic criteria in procurement.
By granting local governments the right to include environmental criteria when awarding contracts with private companies, the European parliament brings EU legislation in line with the European Court of Justice. Last year, the Court stated that local governments are entitled to include protection of the environment as a criteria (Helsinki bus case).
The vote also ensures the respect of the principles of Local Agenda 21 and articles 3 and 6 of the EC Treaty.
"Local authorities have a duty to promote a better environment, says CEMR General Secretary Jeremy Smith. It would not make sense to limit public purchasing to narrow economic criteria while disregarding the potential impact of such contracts on the environment".
However CEMR regrets that its amendments calling for the possibility to make direct reference to Eco-labels in the technical specifications was narrowly defeated.
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