The EU legal framework for public procurement is set by the public procurement directives. New directives were adopted in January 2014 and have now been transposed into national law in all EU members states.
The Directives apply above certain value thresholds, depending on the type of procurement (see DG Growth website below). However, all procurement, regardless of value must comply with the basic EU Treaty principles of equal treatment, non-discrimination, transparency and proportionality.
The EU also adheres to World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on fair international competition for public contracts, known as the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA).
The public procurement directives provide clear opportunities for including environmental and social considerations within all stages of the procurement process. Please see the links at the bottom of the page for comprehensive guidance.
The 2014 Procurement Directives have clarified and, to a certain extent, expanded the opportunities for sustainable procurement.
Comprehensive guidance on the implementation of GPP under the EU Procurement Directives
Overview of procurement case law relevant for sustainable procurement on the EC's GPP website