Policy Areas  >  Economy & Internal Market  >  Public procurement

Public procurement

On 26 February 2014 the European Union adopted the Public Procurement Directive (2014/24/EU), which replaces the 2004 directive on public works, supply and service contracts. The Member States had until 17 April 2016 to enact the new rules in their national law (except with regard to e-procurement, where the deadline is September 2018).

The proposal for a public procurement directive has certain key objectives:

   •  To facilitate SME access to the procurement market 

   •  To simplify the procurement procedures and reducing the costs 

   •  To improve the strategic use of public procurement in response to new challenges

   •  To encourage transparency 

The public procurement rules apply to public contracts above certain thresholds:

   •  EUR 5,186,000 for works contracts, works concessions contracts, subsidised works contracts

   •  EUR 134,000 for supplies contracts awarded by contracting authorities not operating in the field of defence

SME access to public procurement

Public procurement is estimated at more than 14% of the Union’s GDP. Therefore, public procurement contracts are a huge segment of the available work in the construction sector. However, various elements were and still are restraining SMEs’ access to public procurement, especially when it comes to information, transparency and access criteria. That is why SME’s access to public procurement has been consistently among EBC top priorities.

After the adoption of the public procurement directive, the main concern is to have a swift and rightful implementation process at national level that could ensure a stable legal framework for the coming years and avoid early revision processes.

 What SMEs need are proportionate and relevant requirements, reasonable administrative management and appropriate size of the contracts!



  • Public procurement: EBC Vice-President appointed as member of Commission Stakeholder Expert Group - 14/01/2019 - Read more
  • OECD Forum on public procurement for SMEs: a better implementation of the EU Directive is needed - 05/11/2018 - Read more
  • Public Procurement Package: Construction SMEs need a better implementation of the Directive - 04/10/2017 - Read more
  • The European Single Procurement Document is problematic - 06/12/2016 - Read more
  • Public procurement: EBC presents concrete examples of award criteria at the Single Market Forum - 19/05/2016 - Read more
  • New rules on public procurement: EBC speaks at the DG Markt Conference - 01/04/2014 - Read more
  • Public Procurement Directive - The main responsibility rests now in the hands of Member States - 15/01/2014 - Read more
  • Construction SMEs need fair competition, simpler administrative procedures and timely payments - 10/01/2013 - Read more
  • Construction SMEs in Europe – Working together to remain independent - 29/06/2012 - Read more
  • Construction SMEs satisfied of the Commission's proposal on public procurement - 20/12/2011 - Read more
  • Public procurement - Parliament’s report should inspire Commission’s proposal - 25/10/2011 - Read more
  • Public procurement - SMEs need smaller contracts and lighter administrative procedures - 24/05/2011 - Read more