Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
DG GROW Newsroom

EU network of review bodies helps guarantee effective enforcement of public procurement rules

Since its creation in 2017, the Network of First Instance Review Bodies on Public Procurement has strengthened cooperation between national review bodies in the EU. These bodies help ensure that companies can challenge the award of procurement contracts by public authorities. The Network has received strong support from EU countries and will continue to encourage further exchanges and collaboration to support the efficient functioning of national review bodies.

The network has already met six times, in Brussels, Malta, Sofia, Zagreb and Bucharest. EU countries have used these meetings to engage in productive discussions on public procurement. They have also worked together in the organisation of meetings and the promotion of the network.

Discussions at network meetings cover various work areas, including exchanges of information about national systems and good practice, identification of needs and challenges, development of common solutions, and improvement of governance through the better use of data and digitalisation. The network also gathers data and develops indicators regarding the functioning of national remedy systems.

Background

The EU Remedies Directives ensure that companies everywhere in the EU have access to clear and effective review, either by specialised first instance review bodies or through existing judicial review bodies. Efficient remedies systems can also rapidly identify weaknesses in public procurement. Since their adoption, the EU Remedies Directives have contributed to improving fairness, transparency, openness and efficiency in the procurement process in EU countries.

To guarantee the effective enforcement of EU public procurement rules however, remedy bodies must be independent. Specifically, the impartiality of their decision-making process must be ensured and they have to be protected against external interference. 

Guaranteeing that national remedies systems are effective is the responsibility of national governments, but the European Commission is committed to helping in this process.  

As part of the Single Market Strategy, the Commission encourages first instance review bodies to cooperate to improve the exchange of information and good practice. The evaluation report on the effectiveness of  the Remedies Directives  and the detailed staff working document accompanying it also paved the way for a new, more comprehensive and proactive Commission strategy in this area. The evaluation identified certain shortcomings in some aspects of how the Remedies Directives function. The Network of first instance review bodies was created to address them.

More information

The European Remedies Directives

National public procurement review systems