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Public procurement

Public procurement contracts cover supplies, services and works purchased by the public sector. Contracts over a certain value are subject to European Union rules and procedures. These rules seek to ensure fair treatment for businesses and openness in the handling of calls to tender. They should be seen in the context of greater competition and the freedom to provide services within the European single market.

Certain contracts, such as in the defence field, remain a matter for EU countries themselves, because they affect specific state interests.

In 2014, the EU adopted new rules on public works, supply and service contracts, as well as on concession contracts which enter into force in 2016. They seek to reduce red tape, remove barriers for market access by small- and medium-sized enterprises and ensure that contracting authorities prevent, identify and remedy conflicts of interests arising in the conduct of procurement procedures.