Frequently asked questions - Works

Frequently asked questions - Works


 Are public opening sessions always held for works and supply contracts?

The public opening session is only organised in the context of open international tender procedures or local open tender procedures.

 Can a tenderer make an offer different from the one mentioned in the technical specifications of a tender for works or supplies, provided it is better?


Generally, the calls for tenders are based upon the principle that the tenderers submit an offer that complies with the technical specifications of the tender dossier that has been given to them. Any offer that does not comply with these provisions shall therefore be rejected.

To allow for the opposite would be contrary to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (notably judgment Storebaelt of 22 June 1993, Case 243/89, p. I/3353 « In this regard, it must be stated first of all that observance of the principle of equal treatment of tenderers requires that all the tenders comply with the tender conditions so as to ensure an objective comparison of the tenders submitted by the various tenderers. »). The Contracting Authority defines its needs through the technical specifications of the tender dossier. The open tender procedures for supplies and works contracts are generally based on the principle that the contract is awarded to the cheapest offer that is compliant with the tender specifications.

In some specific cases, the award criteria may be the best value for money but this is exceptional and is always specified in the tender documents.


 Are discounts always announced at the opening for works and supplies? This can be cumbersome and very complicated.


In the case of procedures that are divided into lots, any discounts offered by tenderers need to be announced orally during the public opening session. The Instructions to tenderers stipulate the following: “A tenderer may include in its tender the overall discount it would grant in the event of some or all of the lots for which it has submitted a tender being awarded to it. The discount should be clearly indicated in such a way that it can be announced at the public tender opening session.” The standard tender submission form of the Practical guide to contract procedures for European Union external actions (PRAG) require that tenderers clearly indicate the amount of their offer as well as any discounts.


  • The Practical Guide explains contracting procedures for EU external aid contracts financed by the EU general budget (Budget) and the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).

    Consult PRAG

  • E-learning course on the Practical Guide. Do you want to know more about EU external action procedures? See our self-learning distance course on contractual procedures.

    e-Learning PRAG

  • e-Calls PROSPECT is the electronic system developed by EuropeAid to facilitate the submission of applications for call for proposals.

    e-Calls PROSPECT

  • Potential Applicant Data Online Registration database contains information on organisations applying for European Commission grants in the field of external assistance.

    e-Calls PADOR

  • Delegated Cooperation, Cooperation with partner countries and with international organisations, Co-financing and Management Modes.

    Consult DEVCO-Companion