In 2006/7 the local municipality of Niederhausen in Germany decided to renovate a multi-purpose hall. The project was intended to take place over several years and was divided into several phases of construction. Following a complaint, the European Commission raised questions over why contracts for architectural services related to the project did not go out to an EU-wide tender. The German authorities take the view that the planning services for each phase of construction constituted separate contracts, each of which was below the relevant threshold for public works contracts. The Commission however takes the contrary view and has sent a reasoned opinion to the German authorities asserting its claim that the architectural services were all economically and technically linked to a single project. Therefore, the value of the whole contract should have been taken into account and the contracts should have gone out to open tender. The German authorities have been given two months to respond after which the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
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