Every year, over 250 000 public authorities in the EU spend around 14% of GDP on the purchase of services, works and supplies. In many sectors such as energy, transport, waste management, social protection and the provision of health or education services, public authorities are the principal buyers. (Source) 

How can the social enterprises take their part in public procurements?

The new general, utility, and concession directives on public procurement entered into force in April 2014.  These  should have been implemented into national legislation within the EU until the 18th of April 2016. In Finland at least we’ll be waiting a bit longer for the actual new piece of legislation that goes under the name the ”public procurement law” – hopefully the wait will not be for too long anymore. At least so far we’ve had the initial version of the law to read, but the law itself is estimated to be in force at the end of this year.  However, as the actual time has already passed in implementing the directives into our national legislation, from 18th April onwards the directives have come into force already partly.

What good things is the new legislation bringing if one thinks about it from the social entreprises’ perspective? At least these things:

  • The incrementation of the national public procurement tresholds;
  • The improved opportunities for small enterprises to take part in the biddings (basically it should be easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to bid for public contracts);
  • The new rules also allow more usage of social and environmental criteria.