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: 

15 Frequently asked questions on socially responsible public procurement

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.

Buying for social impact - Key findings

Buying for social impact - Good practice from around the EU

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. 

Making socially responsible procurement work - 71 good practice cases

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.

Buying social (2nd edition)

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. 

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