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Not everyone agrees that the European Parliament agreement on new rules on procurement will benefit the environment

The European Parliament has approved new public procurement rules that will give more weight to environmental considerations in the awarding of contracts in the water, energy and transport sectors. The new legislation, which was already agreed with the Council of Ministers in June 2013, overhauls the current EU public procurement rules and for the first time sets common EU standards on concession contracts to boost fair competition and ensure best value for money by introducing new award criteria that place more emphasis on environmental considerations, social aspects and innovation. The new legislation requires contracting authorities to take better account of life-cycle costs including the environmental costs of contracts, where a monetary value for these can be determined, including for greenhouse gas and other emissions. In instances where member states and local authorities set out environmental criteria in their contracts, they can require contractors to provide labels or certificates showing compliance. Procurement is a powerful tool in the European Single Market armoury, covering nearly 18% of all public sectors contracting in the EU for works, goods or service contracts, to help achieve specific societal goals. Member states have roughly two years from now in which to transpose these new provisions into national law. However, some private sector waste management interests in Europe are now concerned by the presence of public to public criteria in the new legislation that will allow local authorities to procure between themselves without a need to good out to the market. READ MORE

Issue 31