Public Procurement and Competition: Some Challenges Arising from Recent Developments in EU Public Procurement Law

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Abstract

The relationship between public procurement and competition has recently been receiving an increasing amount of attention, both in academic and policy-making circles. It is becoming common ground that public procurement holds a complex and bidirectional relationship with market competition and that, consequently, a tighter link between public procurement and competition law enforcement needs to be established.

This paper explores the recent OECD push for more competition in public procurement and its role as an influential factor in the ongoing reform of EU public procurement rules. Afterwards, it critically assesses three of the main challenges to keeping public procurement pre-competitive: (i) the difficult balance in terms of procurement transparency created by the clash between competition and corruption concerns; (ii) the magnification of the undesired (potential) anticompetitive effects of public procurement that centralised procurement may generate, as well as its increasing use as an improper tool of market regulation; and (iii) the possible competitive distortions and the potential advantages resulting from the generalization of eProcurement. The conclusions extract some common patterns derived from the previous analysis and suggest some policy recommendations mainly oriented at boosting oversight and professionalization of procurement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on European Public Procurement
EditorsChristopher Bovis
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Pages423-451
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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