Public authorities can engage in socially-responsible public procurement by buying ethical products and services, and by using public tenders to create job opportunities, decent work, social and professional inclusion and better conditions for disabled and disadvantaged people.

Buying responsibly and ethically can also create incentives for entrepreneurs to commit to a more responsible and sustainable management of the production process and the employment of workers. This makes socially-responsible public procurement a strategic tool to drive social and labour policies forward in an effective manner.

The European Commission intends to facilitate the uptake of socially-responsible criteria in public procurement and to promote their use across the EU. We are organising a series of workshops on the use of social clauses and updating the 'buying social' guide.

Buying social

A guide on taking account of social considerations in public procurement.

Buying social guide (2011)

Targeted consultation on a guide on socially-responsible public procurement

The Commission seeks feedback from stakeholders on the scope and structure of a guide on socially-responsible public procurement. The results will be used to help draft the guide and other possible complementary documents. 

Consultation on a socially-responsible procurement guide

European accessibility act

In 2019 the EU adopted a new directive for accessibility requirements for products and services. It aims to establish common rules on accessibility that will also apply to public tenders.

Directive (EU) 2019/882 on the accessibility requirements for products and services