In January 2011, the European Commission published a Green Paper on the modernisation of EU public procurement policy ("Towards a more efficient European public procurement market", COM(2011)15, attached).

The Green Paper addresses a broad range of seminal current issues, some of which regularly play a role in legal proceedings in the Netherlands and Belgium. Some of these issues are the following:

  • the concept of "body governed by public law";  
  • the definition of "public procurement contracts for works";  
  • the distinction between IIA- and IIB-services;  
  • the scope of the concept of "clear cross border interest", which is relevant in determining whether the obligation to provide for appropriate transparency measures which derives directly from the TFEU applies to certain contracts which are not governed by the public procurement directives, such as contracts below the thresholds, concessions for services and contracts for IIB-services;  
  • the height of the value thresholds;  
  • the simplification of the existing compulsory procurement procedures;  
  • the simplification of public procurement obligations for local governments;  
  • the removal of access barriers for SMEs; and  
  • the implementation of social, innovation and environmental policy objectives through public procurement procedures.

The Netherlands government has submitted its reaction to the Green Paper to the Second Chamber of the Netherlands Parliament on 28 March 2011 (attachment 1 and attachment 2, Dutch only).