In response to a long-running debate over the application of the public procurement rules to various forms of public co-operation, the European Commission recently published new guidance. It aims to draw a distinction between arrangements entered into by public authorities, with other public bodies which are subject to rules requiring open competition among economic operators, and other co-operative arrangements, which are not subject to the rules. This guidance takes the form of a Commission staff working paper on ‘public-public cooperation’ which aims to draw on conclusions from the case law of the European Court of Justice. It examines in some detail the implications of Teckal C-107/98 and subsequent cases, on the award of “in-house” contracts. It contains and interesting section on other forms of public to public forms of co-operation including redistribution of competences between public authorities and the role of central purchasing bodies.

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Guidance on Public-Public Cooperation

A copy of the European Commission’s Staff working paper on public-public cooperation can be accessed here.