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Sustainable Procurement: A Compliance Perspective of EU Public Procurement Law

Pedro Telles, Grith Skovgaard Ølykke


Keywords: Sustainable Procurement, Compliance

This article analyses the conceptual link between law and compliance, exploring the different theories and types of compliance (corporate, State and regulatory) and how they can be found today within the EU legal public procurement framework. The analytical focus is on Directive 2014/24/EU and within it how sustainable requirements have increased the level of compliance required, particularly regulatory compliance. Compliance was already present in previous EU public procurement frameworks, but its extent on Directive 2014/24/EU leads the authors to consider the current legal framework as subject to substantial regulatory compliance obligations external to the process of procurement. In short, procurement has been transformed in a way to enforce regulatory obligations that are not intrinsic to the process of buying. This leads to the conclusion that questions such as the cost and trade offs from imposing compliance obligations to public and private bodies warrant further research, particularly at the legal, economic and political science intersection.

Pedro Telles is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Swansea University and Adjunct at Griffith University Law Futures Centre; Grith Skovgaard Ølykke is a Professor (wsr) at the Law Department of Copenhagen Business School and an expert member of the Danish Complaints Board for Public Procurement. Any opinions expressed are the authors’ own. The authors would like to thank Albert Sánchez-Graells and an anonymous reviewer for useful comments and suggestions.


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