Further reading Public Procurement

Further reading

FTAO Press Releases:

4 European public authorities rewarded for their Fair Trade cotton commitments (March 2014)

Toast to Fair Trade in Public Procurement (January 2014) 

European Parliament Hosts Fair Trade Breakfast on Public Procurement (October 2012)

European Court confirms possibility to demand Fair Trade criteria in public procurement (May 2012)

FTAO Newsletter Articles: 

Countdown for Public Procurement Directive (January 2013)

French government Moves Forward on Fair Trade Public Procurement (October 2012)

Lessons learnt for the reform of the public procurement Directives: European Court of Justice decision on the North-Holland case (June 2012)

Official EU Documents: 

On 28 January 2011, the European Commission launched the EC guideBuying social: a guide to take into account of social considerations in public procurement”. While the guide deals with social issues (not specific on Fair Trade) it does include a section on ethical trade (pages 31 and 32).

Interesting Documents and Articles: 

The European Fair Trade Association (EFTA) Public Affairs project produced a model of Fair Trade Public Procurement that explains, in a didactic way, the various possibilities to support Fair Trade via public procurement.

Analysis & Best practice in Fair Trade Public Procurement

The European Observatory on Fair Trade Public Procurement collects and analyses examples of the introduction of Fair Trade criteria in public purchases across Europe. The Observatory does this by: highlighting best practice examples of calls for tenders, collecting resources from EU countries on FTPP, analysing the existing legislation and case law, and sharing experiences of public authorities that procure Fair Trade products. 


What is new?

The current Directives

Directive 2004/17/EC coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors, and

Directive 2004/18/EC on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts, also called classic Directive 

will be replaced by

Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and repealing Directive 2004/17/EC, and

Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC, respectively

The 2014 EU Procurement Directives have been adopted by the EU institutions and were published in the Official Journal of the EU on 28 March 2014. They came into force on 17 April 2014.

EU member states now have 2 years to implement them into national legislation.



What are FTAO´s views?

Once adopted, the European Commission is competent to assist Member States in transposing the Public Procurement Directives into national law, and to monitor their proper application once they are adopted. Besides this watchdog role, the European Commission can issue specific guidance on some areas of Public Procurement, such as sustainable procurement. For the 2004 Directives, the European Commission issued a guide on the environmental aspects of procurement (“Buying Green”), and another one on the social considerations (“Buying Social”).

The Commission should make sure that Member States have a common understanding of the possibilities offered by the new Directives in the area of Socially Responsible Public Procurement. Furthermore, the Commission should encourage Members States to include Fair Trade alongside other social criteria in their public contracts through specific guidance on how to do it, giving examples of public authorities that already support small producers through their public purchases.

In addition, DG MARKT as the unit responsible for Public Procurement legislation should liaise with other DGs to ensure that the policy proposals made in the area of Sustainable Public Procurement, such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Private Sector and Development, Sustainable Consumption and Production in the post-2015 development framework, are coherent with the revised Public Procurement Directives.


Who does FTAO work with?

The FTAO is member of the NSDPP (Network for Sustainable Development in Public Procurement), an informal group of social, environmental NGOs and trade union organisations (individual, confederal and EU federal) united by their joint aim to achieve progress in sustainable development through enabling EU public procurement legislation and policies.


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