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The Principles of Transparency and Anti-Bribery in Public Procurement: A Slow Engagement with the Letter and Spirit of the EU Public Procurement Directives

Chryssoula P. Moukiou

The phenomenon of corruption in the public sector especially, where public procurement contracts are concerned, has already come to the attention of international organizations and of large numbers of citizens worldwide. This paper tackles the question of the extent to which the fight against corruption, collusion and fraud at Member States’ level could be and/or has been translated into public procurement law at a European level. Consequently, there could be questions on whether taking into consideration those targets leads to adopting additional European rules and regulations regarding public contracts’ award procedures, especially the participants’ or bidders’ exclusion from a public procurement procedure. If the answer is in the affirmative, another question that will be explored is whether this targeting differentiates the legal approach or alters the traditional interpretation of the rules of law set down by secondary European legislation. More particularly, the problem is how issues which are traditionally considered to be extra-legal behavioral aspects of the contracting authorities and of the participant or the bidder in a public procurement award procedure could and/or have been absorbed by the European legislator and have become part of the European rule of law. Thus, issues of illegitimate influence on public procurement procedure could be recognised as additional grounds of illegality in the awarding of contracts or an additional ground of a participant’s or a bidder’s exclusion, albeit not formally reflected on the awarding criteria. This is the process through which illegitimacy is transformed into illegality.
Keywords: Transparency; Anti-Bribery; Corruption; Conflict of Interest.

Chryssoula P. Moukiou, Assistant Professor of Administrative Law at Athens Panteion University of Social and Political Science.


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