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.
For more information:
Good practices in socially responsible public procurement
The Commission collects and disseminates good practices to inspire and encourage public buyers to use public procurement to achieve positive social and ethical impact.
Buying for social impact
In 2019, the Commission held workshops in 15 EU countries to raise awareness of socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) to local public buyers and social economy organisations. 22 inspiring examples were collected.
Making socially responsible public procurement work: 71 good practice cases
Under this project, the Commission published a collection of 71 good practices from across the EU encompassing different sectors and including a broad range of local and national public buyers.
Buying social — A guide on taking account of social considerations in public procurement
To promote the use of public procurement as a tool to achieve social policy objectives, the Commission published a practical guide for public buyers. The guide includes concrete suggestions and examples and it covers the whole procurement process.
Targeted consultation on a guide on socially-responsible public procurement
The Commission sought feedback from stakeholders on the scope and structure of a guide on socially-responsible public procurement to help with its drafting and other possible complementary documents.
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.