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Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP) under EU Law and International Agreements

The GPA, CETA and the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area

Abby Semple


Keywords: Socially, Responsible, Public Procurement, SRPP, EU, International Agreements, GPA, CETA

The 2014 EU Procurement Directives contain an expanded set of provisions relating to socially responsible public procurement (SRPP). From the application of higher thresholds and ability to limit competition for certain contracts through the use of social award criteria and contract performance clauses, there are numerous possibilities for contracting authorities to take considerations related to labour law compliance, trading conditions and social inclusion into account. At the same time, the EU has expanded its international commitments in the field of public procurement through the revision of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, and through the establishment of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. This paper looks at the extent to which SRPP provisions have been incorporated in these agreements, finding that in a number of areas they offer a less supportive framework than the EU Directives for SRPP.

Abby Semple, LL.B. Principal Consultant, Public Procurement Analysis and Doctoral Candidate, Department of Politics, University of London (Birkbeck College). I am grateful for the comments provided by two anonymous peer reviewers on drafts of this article, and to the other contributors to the Procurement Beyond Price conference in Copenhagen, May 2017.


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