On 11 February 2014, the EU took the final step in its latest overhaul of its public procurement regime. As well as a new directive dealing for the first time with the award of concession contracts, the EU has issued new directives that consolidate and update the existing regimes dealing with the award of contracts for supplies, services or works, and the award of contracts in the so-called utilities sectors (water, energy, transport and postal services).
The new directives have been a long time coming. The Commission originally proposed its changes a couple of years ago but the proposals have been through prolonged consideration under the EU’s legislative procedure. The Commission’s aim is to modernise the European public contract procurement rules and make them simpler and more flexible. In practice, it is perhaps questionable whether simplification has been achieved, although several aspects are either completely new or have been materially amended from the current regime.
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