Eversheds launches “EU Public Procurement Reform Guide 2016”

Eversheds has published the “EU Public Procurement Reform Guide 2016” on the status of implementation of the new procurement directives in the European Union.

The initiator of the project and coordinator of the work of the international team of experts was Tomasz Zalewski, partner in charge of the public procurement practice at Wierzbowski Eversheds.

The “EU Procurement Reform Guide 2016” covers 19 EU countries where Eversheds’ public procurement practice teams are present. It has also been supplemented with information about Switzerland. The knowledge contained in the guide will allow contractors thinking about participating in procedures for award of public contracts outside the borders of their own countries to quickly find out the specifics of public procurement in different EU countries.

Although public procurement law in the European Union is harmonized, the manner of actual transposition of directives and the practice of application of the rules often differ from country to country. The guide published by Eversheds describes the current status of the implementation of procurement directives in the member states, and presents the specifics of implementation in each of the countries. The guide also provides information on legal remedies in individual countries, as successful application for public contracts requires knowledge of the options for appealing decisions by the contracting authorities.

As Tomasz Zalewski explained, “Although the official deadline for transposition of the new European procurement directives passed on 18 April 2016, the actual process of their implementation in European Union countries continues. The reform of European public procurement law was initiated by the adoption of a package of new directives on public procurement and concessions in 2014. The scope of this reform covered many significant aspects of public procurement, such as the introduction of compulsory electronic communications, the European Single Procurement Document, and new rules for exclusion of contractors. It turned out, however, that in many countries the correct implementation of the new directives causes problems.”

Zalewski added: “The implementation of directives in most cases required a thorough rebuilding of the national public procurement regulations. That’s one of the reasons the process in many countries is not over yet, and in others, despite the introduction of new legislation, a debate is ongoing concerning the practical operation of the new legal solutions.”

Among other things, the guide shows that in many countries an entirely new public procurement law was adopted, and in those where the existing regulations were amended there are problems with full implementation of the new directives. The publication also includes data on the number of appeals lodged in individual countries.

It is clear from the collected data that in 2016 the procurement market in the EU has undergone extensive changes as a result of the introduction of the new package of directives. This means that the know-how and experience of existing procurement market participants is no longer such a significant competitive advantage as before, and that every contractor that wants to win public tenders should relearn how to navigate the complexities of the new procedures.

Keywords Wierzbowski Eversheds