EU rules on public procurement will be made more social and better for small firms, says De Jong

15 January 2014

EU rules on public procurement will be made more social and better for small firms, says De Jong

SP Euro-Euro-MP Dennis de Jong has welcomed changes to the European Union Directive to be approved today by the European Parliament. As one of the six MEPs chosen to negotiate the final text, De Jong was closely involved in drawing it up. ‘I fought hard to have the rules adjusted and it paid off,’ he says. ‘The new rules will offer more possibilities for social concerns and considerations of sustainability to be taken into account in tendering procedures, and moreover it will become a lot easier for small and medium-sized businesses to participate in these procedures and to win contracts.’

Dennis de JongDe Jong successfully devoted himself to shepherding through a number of concrete amendments designed to benefit small firms, as he explains. ‘In this proposal for the first time a “test” has been included by the European Parliament which will determine whether a tendering procedure is fair to smaller firms,’ De Jong notes. ‘So that worked out well, as did my proposal that, as far as possible, public contracts should be divided into smaller parcels. And we fought hard to see amendments to the annual minimum turnover, as to date it’s been necessary for a firm’s annual turnover to amount to at least three times the total value of the tendered contract. Now that’s been reduced to double the value. These measures will mean that small firms will find it easier to put themselves in the running for public procurement contracts.’

In the SP’s view the first public procurement directive, adopted in 2004, led to a great many problems, primarily because it meant that at the end of the day it always had to be the tender with the lowest price tag that was selected. Now, as De Jong explains, ‘the new rules make it possible to go for the most economically advantageous, which mean that social and environmental criteria can also provide the deciding factor, at last giving our local and regional decision-makers and elected representatives the space to create a 100% social procurement policy throughout the Netherlands.’

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