The European Parliament (EP) on Thursday approved a report by MEP Carlos Coelho on bureaucratic changes in the award of public contracts, including social and environmental dimensions.
The report by Carlos Coelho, approved by 534 votes in favor, 54 against and 15 abstentions, defines a new strategic framework to "improve the award of contracts", recommending that countries apply criteria other than the lowest price. For this, the Portuguese MEP defends the consideration of qualitative, environmental and social issues.
It therefore proposes the application of quality criteria, such as a bet on the best value for money, and the calculation of the life-cycle costs of products in the purchasing decisions, advocating the wide use of innovative contracts to "achieve smart growth , ecological and inclusive and to strengthen the circular economy ". The MEP also proposes measures to support the participation of SMEs in public procurement. These include the batch division and the introduction of transparency instruments, such as contract records.
According to European Commission data cited by the EP, 55% of public procurement procedures still use the lowest price as the sole award criterion rather than, for example, strategic social and environmental criteria.
In the debate this morning in plenary, MEP said that "for the smooth functioning of the internal market, it is crucial to define a global and strategic policy framework for public procurement that promotes growth, employment and innovation."
"The provision of high quality public services depends to a large extent on modern, efficient and transparent public procurement processes. The report that is being debated today responds precisely to this need, "said Carlos Coelho, adding that" ensuring that taxpayers' money is spent efficiently and effectively is in the common interest and is a legitimate requirement of our citizens. "
More than 250,000 public authorities use about 14% of EU GDP in the procurement of services, works and supplies, with a value of more than two billion euros a year estimated.