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Remedies Directives

Remedies Directives

The Remedies Directives set minimum national review standards to ensure that rapid and effective means of redress are available in all EU countries when an economic operator that has an interest in a public procurement procedure believes that it has been run without proper application of the EU Public Procurement Directives.

There are two Remedies Directives: one for the public sector and one for utilities.

Both directives were substantially amended by Directive 2007/66/EC.

The Remedies Directives provide for a ten-day standstill period between the award and the signature of a public contract, and make it necessary to inform all tenderers about the outcome of tender procedures. These Directives also include provisions related to the granting of interim measures to correct alleged deviations or prevent further damages, the setting aside of decisions taken unlawfully, the award of damages, as well as time limits for pre-contractual remedies, sanctions for ‘ineffectiveness’, and the possibility to introduce alternative penalties via fines or the limitation of contract duration. The Directives respect EU countries’ procedural autonomy and legal traditions.

2018 study to explore data availability at the national level in order to develop indicators for evaluating the performance of the Remedies Directives

The Report on the effectiveness of the Remedies Directives and its accompanying Staff Working Document highlighted that not enough information on national public procurement remedies systems is being collected in a structured manner. This hinders the use of information for policy-making.

This study, ordered by the European Commission, aimed to increase transparency of national remedies systems. It presents information on the collection of procedural data related to remedies systems in EU countries. It also proposes some indicators for evaluating the performance of the Remedies Directives.

Evaluation 2017: European Remedies Directives ensure fair play in EU public procurement

On 24 January 2017, the European Commission published a report, accompanied by a detailed evaluation, on the operation of the Remedies Directives. The Commission concluded that the Directives have contributed to making the procurement procedure in EU countries more fair, transparent, open and efficient, which is essential to increase trust in public administration. Furthermore, the importance of the Directives is confirmed by the fact that economic operators are using them to challenge deviations from public procurement rules. Over four years (2009-2012), more than 50 000 first instance decisions were taken.

EU network of first instance review bodies

16 EU countries have set up specialised first instance public procurement review bodies (administrative and/or judicial). In the remaining countries, an existing judicial review body is responsible for the review of procurement procedures. Since March 2017, delegates from EU countries plus Norway and Switzerland meet twice a year to discuss follow-up actions to the 2017 evaluation. These include:

  • facilitating exchanges between network members
  • promoting optimal model solutions
  • identifying needs
  • pooling experience and expertise
  • developing support activities
  • assisting in the preparation of guidance documents to ease the practical implementation of the Remedies Directives
  • monitoring the progress of setting up remedies indicators to support the efficient functioning of first instance review bodies and to monitor the results of the Remedies Directives

Overview of national public procurement review systems

Making public procurement remedies more efficient: New EU network of review bodies

Public consultation 2015: The Remedies Directives in the eyes of stakeholders

In a 2015 Commission public consultation, a variety of stakeholders including contracting authorities, businesses, review bodies and courts, legal practitioners and academia pointed out that the Remedies Directives have a positive effect on the public procurement process. The replies to the consultation show that the Directives provide an effective way for rapid action when there is an alleged breach of EU public procurement rules. Stakeholders regarded the standstill period and the suspension of the contract award procedure where review proceedings are initiated as the most useful elements of the Directives.

2015 study: Economic efficiency and legal effectiveness of review and remedies procedures for public contracts

The objective of this study was to assess the economic efficiency and the legal effectiveness of review and remedies procedures as modified in 2007.

  • Final study report
  • Final study executive summary
  • Appendixes (data gathering process, perceptions of improvement of public procurement aspects, cost of reviews, usage/relevance of the remedies, factors affecting usage, value for money sensitivity analysis, and probability of complaint sensitivity analysis)
  • Member State fiches (remedy systems in all 28 Member States - legislation, review procedures, case law)
  • Data

Review of the Remedies Directives 2007

The Directive