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New EU procurement directives approved by the European Parliament

16 January 2014

On Wednesday 15 January the European Parliament (EP) approved the new EU Public Procurement Directives. The new legislation will replace the current directives and will be binding in all EU Member States once they have been transposed into national law. States have up to two years time for the transposition.

The overall goal of the directives is to ensure public authorities purchase best value for money and facilitate bids from SMEs. Central aspects of the new directives include the ‘most economically advantageous tender’ (MEAT) as the standard award criterion and ‘innovation partnerships’ as a mechanism for encouraging dialogue with bidders and fostering innovation procurement.

"Public procurement will no longer be a question of simply accepting the lowest price. Smart customers will work with smart suppliers to provide better solutions, better tailored to meeting customer needs in more innovative ways," said British MEP and Rapporteur Malcolm Harbour, Chairman of the EP’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. The introduction of the MEAT criterion should serve to further support the use of environmental and social criteria in public tenders.

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