The regulation of public procurement forms part of the EU’s internal market policy. The website of DG Internal Market provides an overview of the legislation and thresholds which apply, and also presents a wide range of documents and guidance on the topic.
In 2011, a revision process for Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC was launched, with a public consultation and a number of reports examining specific aspects of public procurement (including the Strategic Use of Public Procurement , which looks at GPP as well as socially responsible and innovative procurement).
DG Enterprise and Industry is responsible for several areas of EU policy which impact directly on public procurement and GPP. In particular the area of product legislation increasingly includes environmental requirements. Information can be found on its website about the Construction Products Regulation, European standards, the REACH Regulation on chemicals, amongst many other related topics.
In addition, DG Enterprise and Industry has specifically targeted public procurement in many of its initiatives linked to innovation, eco-innovation and sustainability. This includes the Lead Market Initiative , which links procurers in sectors such as construction and protective textiles, and a pilot supporting the public procurement of innovation, launched in 2011.
The EU has an ambitious energy policy – covering the full range of energy sources from fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) to nuclear energy and renewables (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydro-electric and tidal). A number of EU directives in this field have direct implications for public procurement, including those on Energy Performance of Buildings, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Ecodesign and Energy Labelling.
The European Union is working actively for a global agreement to control climate change and is taking domestic action to achieve substantial reductions in its own contribution. It is also developing a European strategy for adapting to climate change.
Farming can help create and maintain a sustainable environment, but it can also put the environment at risk. This is why the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) is being reformed so that farmers get financial support only in return for respecting the European Union's environmental requirements.
The EU regulations on the production, control and labelling of organic products help public procurers, as well as private consumers, to identify products with a lower impact.
DG Regional Policy is responsible for managing the majority of the EU’s Structural Funds, one of the areas of expenditure identified as suitable for greening in the Communication “Public procurement for a better environment.”
The next generation of Structural Funds will cover the period 2014-2020.
The Directorate General 'SANCO’ has the task of keeping EU laws up to date on food safety, consumers' rights and the protection of human health. It also monitors the implementation of these rules by national, regional and local governments.
DG Mobility & Transport is working to improve citizens' quality of life and strengthen the economy by promoting sustainable urban mobility and increased use of clean and energy efficient vehicles.
The transport sector has an important role to play to achieve the EU policy objectives of reducing energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and pollutant emissions. Directive 2009/33/EC on the Promotion of Clean and Energy Efficient Road Transport Vehicles aims at a broad market introduction of environmentally-friendly vehicles. It addresses purchases of vehicles for public transport services and so is of a particular relevance for GPP.
One of the tasks of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities is to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR), which includes environmental issues.
More about CSR can be found on DG EMPL webpage.
In January 2011 the Commission published "Buying Social: A Guide to Taking Account of Social Considerations in Public Procurement".