On 1st December 2021, Associate Professor and EPLG member Marta Andhov, contributed to the public hearing of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection in association with the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety titled ‘Sustainable public procurement: using the full potential of public buying to achieve goals of the European Green Deal.’
At the hearing, Prof. Marta Andhov gave her view of regulatory issues concerning SPP and stressed the need of revisiting the fundamentals. She highlighted the importance of balancing the internal market and sustainability objectives of the Union. In particular, the internal market in 2021-2022 must truly encapsulate the ‘social market economy’ introduced with Lisbon Treaty, and it needs to be translated to legal terms. Without a legislative recognition, arguing for sustainability as the core objective of public procurement will remain problematic due to the existing tension with the traditionally understood procurement objective of open competition. In fact, the continuous perception of sustainability as an “add-on” to public procurement gives it a secondary value compared to traditionally recognized principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment.
Moreover, the current interpretation of the link to the subject matter is seen as limiting sustainable public procurement in practice. Marta Andhov stressed that the concept of life-cycle costing could replace it, as it provides enough security to equal treatment, non-discrimination and open competition in the internal market. A clear definition of life cycle cost can enable its inclusion in planning tenders and procurement budgets. In addition to this, Prof. Andhov also made a remark about the future that should bring mandatory sectoral legislation. Such legislation would stipulate the rules for achieving green goals while also providing a degree of legal certainty in the field.
You can watch the recording of the full hearing here.[The content of this post has been partially taken from Prof. Andhov’s post, available at BESTEK website]