About this consultation

7 December 2017 - 1 March 2018
Policy areas
Public procurement

Target group

The consultation is targeted at those engaged in the policy and practice of socially responsible public procurement, such as central and local government authorities, networks/clusters of public buyers, social economy enterprises and organisations, non-profits, NGOs, international organisations, trade unions, sectoral and suppliers' associations, and individuals from academia and the private sector with an interest in socially responsible public procurement.

Objective of the consultation

The aim of this targeted consultation is to receive stakeholder feedback on the scope and structure of a European Commission guide on socially responsible public procurement. Specifically, the Commission wants to know what type of guidance should be published, its outline, and how to make the best use of collected good practice. The results will feed into the new guide on socially responsible public procurement and possible complementary documents.

In 2011, the European Commission published a guide on socially responsible public procurement: 'Buying Social - A guide on taking account of social considerations in public procurement'. In the last six years, the EU has modernised its rules on public procurement, expanding the possibilities for the use of social clauses with the adoption of the 2014 Public Procurement Directives.  Public and private stakeholders across the EU are also increasingly interested in using public procurement to improve social and professional inclusion, buy ethical products and services, and create better conditions for disabled and disadvantaged people. Many of them, notably in the social economy, have called for an update to the existing guide and the collection of social procurement good practice.

The Commission Communication 'Making public procurement work in and for Europe' of 3 October 2017 advocates for the systematic use of strategic public procurement. To support this objective, the Commission will soon launch a project aimed at:

  • raising awareness of the possibilities offered by the 2014 Directives
  • explaining in a clear and practical way how to integrate social considerations into public tenders
  • collecting and disseminating social procurement examples and good practice
  • improving access to public procurement for social economy enterprises

How to submit your response

You can provide us with your feedback by filling in the online questionnaire. This consultation is available in 23 EU languages and you may use any of them to respond. The questionnaire meets the standards set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

In line with the Commission’s transparency rules, we will not publish the responses, but reserve the right to publish a summary of the feedback received, as well as the number and type of stakeholders that replied to the consultation.

View the questionnaire