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Creating a single innovation market
Commitment 17 (cont)
Joint Public Procurement
Innovation Union commitment text

"In addition, the Commission will offer guidance on implementing joint procurements between contracting entities under the current public procurement directives and use the ongoing general evaluation of the current directives to examine the opportunity to introduce additional rules to make cross border joint procurements easier."

Innovation in Public Procurement
Note: Between 64% and 77% of companies interested in public procurement indicated that none of the opportunities - investigated / unsuccessful bids made / contracts they won - provided the opportunity to offer innovative products or services.
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Insufficient use of the possibilities to procure jointly by public procurers due to lack of awareness of the possibilities available and perception of legal insecurity (because of absence of practical guidance and, subject to verification, lack of specific rules to address particular issues for cross border joint procurement).

Due to this low use of joint procurement:

  1. Insufficient efficiency of public money spending (economies of scale);
  2. Fractured buyer power of contracting authorities, hindering them to attain the best possible market conditions;
  3. Insufficient potential of contracting authorities to steer the market in a certain direction;
  4. Insufficient pooling and sharing of know-how of contracting authorities;
  5. Risk related to innovative procurement or high scale projects;
  6. Few cross-border projects.

Public procurers spend over €2,000 billion (17% of EU GDP) on supplies, works, and services every year. Public money should be used in the most efficient way. However, the 'efficient use' of public money does not only imply saving money but also procuring goods and services with higher 'societal' value in terms of respect of the environment, improvement of social conditions or finding innovative solutions better suited to new needs, cf. "objectives of EU 2020 strategy".

These objectives can be better attained, if the public procurers join their public procurement procedures (referred as 'joint public procurement'). By aggregating their resources, public procurers increase their buyer power and may hence obtain better contractual conditions, reach more easily important market threshold values and have at their disposal a stronger instrument for orienting the market.

Joint public procurement can increase the effectiveness of the public procurement procedure, enhance procurement results and at the same time share the risk linked to the procurement notably of innovative solutions.

Joint public procurement may be envisaged at the national level involving only contracting authorities from one Member State or at cross-border level, involving contracting authorities from several Member States. The current European public procurement legal framework is open to joint public procurement either at national or cross-border level. However, very little detail is given concerning the application of joint public procurement in practice.


The replies to the Green Paper on the Modernisation of the EU Procurement Policy and the results of the on-going review of the current public procurement legal framework (in particular Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC) shall provide the Commission services with the necessary input concerning:

  1. the most common difficulties encountered by the stakeholders in relation to the joint public procurement on national and cross border level;
  2. suggestions for clarification of the actual legal framework;
  3. suggestions for the modification of the actual legal framework.

Depending on the outcome of the on-going evaluation and consultation processes relating to the public procurement framework and on any concrete obstacles to cross border joint procurement identified therein, further guidance or additional rules will be proposed in the framework of the global revision exercise of the public procurement legal framework.

18/04/2011 Deadline for replies to the Green Paper on modernisation of public procurement rules
Type: Preparatory activities
30/06/2011 Conference on the Modernisation of EU Public Procurement Policy
Type: Preparatory activities
Lead Directorate-General/Unit, Head of Unit

Directorate General MARKT, Unit C3, K. Wiedner

Other Directorates-General/Units associated

DG ENTR/D1, DG RTD/C1, Secretary General

Key external partners

Member States, contracting authorities

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