The Remedies Directives coordinate national review systems by imposing some common standards intended to ensure that rapid and effective means of redress is available in all EU countries in cases where bidders consider that contracts have been awarded unfairly.
Infringement procedures launched by the Commission, by contrast, are intended not to protect individual rights, but to correct infringements of EU law.
Two directives are needed because some of the rules governing the utilities sector are more flexible.
2007 review of the directives
The above directives were substantially amended by Directive 2007/66/EC , which introduced two main features:
- a "standstill period" – contracting authorities need to wait for at least 10 days after deciding who has won the public contract before the contract can actually be signed. This period gives bidders time to examine the decision and decide whether to initiate a review procedure. If they do so within the standstill period, this results in the "automatic suspension" of the procurement process until the review body takes its decision. If these rules are not respected, under certain conditions national review bodies must render a signed contract ineffective.
more stringent rules against illegal direct awards of public contracts – national courts will be able to render these contracts ineffective if they have been illegally awarded without transparency and prior competitive tendering.
See press release .
See also: background to the 2007 review.
Conference on Remedies in Public Procurement – State of Play, Challenges and Opportunities (26/11/2012)