Challenges in supporting the procurement of sustainable energy solutions
There are more than 250 000 public authorities in the EU, who each year spend around 14 % of the EU’s EUR 2 trillion GDP on works, goods and services. That means about EUR 2 trillion of taxpayers' money, sometimes in economic sectors where public authorities are the principal buyers.
Public procurement has the potential to influence the market in terms of production and consumption trends in favour of environmentally friendly, socially responsible and innovative products and services on a large scale. The 2014 public procurement Directives recognise public procurement's objective of achieving smart sustainable and inclusive growth, in addition to the traditional goal of achieving open and fair competition in the EU market. They also make pursuing policy goals beyond the logic of the 'lowest price' easier than in the past, by providing a wide range of optional tools to contracting authorities.
However, more possibilities to support sustainable purchases also means more complexity. It is therefore crucial that public administrations are modern, efficient and professional enough to reap the benefits of the existing legal framework. It is equally important that the European Commission offers support and guidance to facilitate the public buyers' work at a technical level.
This panel presents and discusses the way forward for the Commission on sustainable public procurement in specific sectors, such as transport and construction, which are relevant to promotion of sustainable energy in the EU. The focus is on the challenges linked to support of sustainable procurement in these domains, how we plan to respond to them and the expected results. The panel involves speakers from different Commission services in a dynamic discussion, stimulating participation and questions from the audience.