3 April 2013

Analysis finds that new European procurement legislation may harm SPP

New European Union Directives on Public procurement could work against sustainable public procurement by preventing public authorities from referring to certificates that guarantee sustainability, asserts a recent analysis by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office. The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament are currently negotiating an agreement with regards to the legislative proposals made by the European Commission.

The stated aim of the new directives is to ensure that public procurement policies are transparent and fair towards all potential bidders across the EU, however the formulation of the legislation may lead to a “step backwards” on the inclusion of environmental and social considerations, says the FSC. Although public authorities may still reference labels, the scope under which they could do so would be greatly reduced.

The proposed legislation also forbids inclusion of labels that are invented and controlled by companies as promotional tools, to prevent unchecked private sector influence. However this would also exclude organisations such as the FSC, who has companies in its membership. The FSC and FTAO are calling on decision-makers to amend the legislation to ensure that SPP is supported rather than hindered.

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