The European Commission is currently examining the effectiveness of the procurement rules and considering possible changes to the legislation and application of the rules. The political debate over the content of the review has already begun. On 10 May 2010, former Commissioner Mario Monti published a report on a new strategy for the single market which among other things, contains recommendations to the new Commission on reform of the procurement rules. On the same day, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market published a Resolution calling on the Commission to conduct a review of the rules. The Resolution also highlights a number of important Judgments of the European Court of Justice which has provided clarification on issues such as co-operation between public bodies, public-private partnerships, service concessions and the application of the rules to land development schemes.

The Commission has already launched a public consultation on the treatment of works and services concessions under procurement law. The online consultation is open until 9 July 2010. Other topics likely to be debated over the coming months as part of the review of the procurement rules are:

  • whether the rules should be modernised and made simpler
  • how to promote access to public tenders for small and medium-sized companies
  • review of the list of ‘Part B’ services currently excluded from the full application of the procurement rules
  • the extent to which the procurement rules could be used to achieve EU policy such as environmental aims, fostering innovation and promoting social and employment objectives.