This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Rules on public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts
This law seeks to ensure an open market for public procurement as well as the fair application of the rules for the award of public works, supplies and services contracts.
Directive 2004/18/EC lays down European Union (EU) rules for awarding contracts for public works, supplies and services. It aims to ensure that the public procurement process is fair and open to bidders from anywhere in the EU.
The law covers most public contracts other than for utilities (water, transport, energy and postal services), telecommunications, service concessions (such as operating an existing car park) and certain defence and security contracts.
4 types of procedure
This is ensured by the publication of notices on public contracts in the EU's Official Journal and TED database, as well as at national level. All publications must contain identical information so as not to favour any bidder. They contain information such as:
Contracts are awarded on the basis of:
All public contracts with a value over a given threshold are covered. Thresholds are calculated every 2 years.
As of 1 January 2014, the main thresholds for procurement contracts for public works, public supply and public service as amended by Regulation (EU) No 1336/2013 are as follows:
Central government authorities
Supplies contracts awarded by central government authoritiesoperating in the field of defence: (i) for products listed in Annex V: € 134,000; (ii) for other products: € 207,000.
Sub-central contracting authorities
Directive 2004/18/EC remains in force until 18.4.2016, the date on which a new Directive replacing it (Directive 2014/24/EU) enters into force.
Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts (OJ L 134, 30.4.2004, pp. 114–240)
Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2004/18/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Directive 2004/17/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (OJ L 134, 30.4.2004, pp. 1–113)
Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, pp. 65–242)
last update 30.09.2015