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Public Procurement

Public procurement plays a key role in the implementation of those EU investments and is an essential element of the Single Market, representing no less than 14% of the EU's GDP. The European Commission supports national and regional authorities managing EU funds in strengthening their public procurement competencies, through numerous actions included in the Action Plan on Public Procurement: support to efficient and strategic procurement, administrative capacity building, as well as improving transparency and accountability.

Action Plan on Public Procurement

Adopted for the first time in 2013, the Commission's Action Plan on Public Procurement sets out and brings together a series of concrete actions to help Member States to improve the performance of both administrations and beneficiaries in applying public procurement for Cohesion policy investments.

In 2020, the 4th revision of the Action Plan on Public Procurement included a series of new initiatives with a view to improving public procurement practices, properly using the public procurement framework in an emergency situation, ensuring a level playing field and using a procurement as a strategic tool to pursue key policy objectives. Key actions of the plan include:

Support to strategic policy objectives in Cohesion policy programming 2021-2027:

Better access to information and guidance for practitioners:

Professionalisation, expert support and training

  • Recommendation on the professionalisation of public procurement
  • ProcurCompEU - the European competency framework for public procurement professionals
  • Training coursesfor Member State authorities managing Cohesion policy funding on public procurement directives, strategic procurement and contribution to green and digital recovery, tools to ensure level playing field and other topics.
  • Experience and good practice sharing through REGIO Peer 2 Peer and Communities of Practitioners
  • Support to Audit Authorities with annual overview of typology of public procurement errors reported by national audit authorities and errors detected by REGIO auditors
  • Ad-hoc expert support needed for MS in order deal with PP issues through a pool of experts for PP issues.

Pilot projects

  • Mainstreaming strategic public procurement to advance regional development : together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): a pilot project to offer practical "hands-on" support to five contracting and/or managing authorities in the EU Member States for strategic procurement initiatives
  • Integrity Pacts: together with Transparency International and 15 different Civil Society Organisations, a pilot project to improve transparency and accountability in public procurement through civic monitoring of 18 pilot projects.

Improving knowledge and studies on public procurement

Other initiatives supported by the Commission

Urban Agenda Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement for the EU

The EU Urban Agenda Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement is one of the original Partnerships established in 2017 following the Pact of Amsterdam. The Action Plan 2018 put forward a package of actions that can help cities to address the challenges they experience related to innovative and responsible public procurement: Building a procurement strategy; Circular procurement; Knowledge exchange; Innovation broker; Future funds; Legal toolbox; Measuring the impact of spend. An E-learning module complements the plan. The partnership continues with a new Action Plan 2022 include three new actions: a reflection board, support action to achieve the EU Green Deal, Digitalisation and Innovation (GDDI) goals by using public procurement as a strategic tool, support action enabling economic recovery through public procurement.