The Commission helps five regions to use more innovative procurement procedures making better use of European funds

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The Commission, working in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will provide personalised support for the Coordination and Development Commission in Portugal’s Centro Region, the Athens Urban Transport Organisation, the Puglia Region in Italy and the Greek regions of Central Greece and Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, in order to help them to use more innovative public procurement procedures for projects co-financed by the EU. This support is intended to go beyond simple cost criteria in pursuit of environmental sustainability, social impact and innovation.

'The Commission will help the authorities managing European funds to get more for their money,' commented the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu; 'More innovative and more responsible public procurement procedures at better value for money – this is a specific example of a results-driven EU budget.' Elżbieta Bieńkowska – Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs – added: ‘The Commission wants to help the public authorities to maximise the impact of public procurement in terms of social objectives, innovation and sustainability, primarily by making use of the EU recommendation on the professionalisation of public procurement.'

The local and regional authorities selected will receive support from the Commission for the following projects: Centro Region, Portugal: research and innovation projects linked to the regional smart specialisation strategy; Athens, Greece: purchase of more environmentally-friendly public transport vehicles; Puglia Region, Italy: new technologies and innovative administrative services in water management; Central Greece: a modern and environmentally-friendly water-treatment system near the Asopos river; Eastern Macedonia and Thrace: projects linked to the regional development strategy for the Rodopi and Nestos mountainous areas. This support is part of the Commission’s Procurement Action Plan and is in accordance with the policy guidelines laid down in the 2017 Public Procurement Package.