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Horizontal Policies in Public Procurement

Their Use and Effectiveness in EU Law and Policy

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/epppl/2019/2/6

David Hickman


The main aim of this paper is to analyse the pros and cons of horizontal policies (HPs) in EU public procurement. The principal argument advanced is that there is a positive case for the targeted use of such policies, which is supported both in legal and policy terms. However, there is a strong tension between the core economic principles on which the EU was established and the promotion of HPs at a European-wide level. This paper concludes that horizontal policies, notwithstanding criticism, are a legitimate and powerful tool in the public procurement locker. The evidence suggests that considerable green, wider societal and economic benefits may be achieved when using such policies. Much uncertainty remains, but Brexit could present an opportunity for the UK to use HPs in public procurement with greater latitude.
Keywords: Horizontal policies; Social; Environmental; Eco-label.

David Hickman, Solicitor, LLB, MA (EU Public Procurement Regulation, King’s College, London) is a consultant specialising in public sector projects and procurement.

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