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Commission Européenne

MEMO

Bruxelles, 26 juin 2013

Le Commissaire Michel Barnier salue l'accord sur de nouvelles règles en matière de passation de marchés publics

Je salue l'accord intervenu entre le Parlement européen et le Conseil sur la réforme de la législation européenne sur les marchés publics, l’une des douze actions prioritaires proposées par la Commission dans le cadre de l'Acte pour le marché unique I. Cet accord devra encore être confirmé dans les jours à venir dans le cadre du Conseil et voté en plénière au Parlement européen.

Il s'agit pour autant d'une étape majeure dans la modernisation du marché intérieur. Face aux contraintes budgétaires actuelles, la commande publique, qui représente près de 19% du PIB européen, doit être optimisée afin de permettre des achats publics au meilleur rapport qualité-prix (« value for money ») pour les collectivités et les citoyens.

Nous avons entrepris un effort majeur de simplification et d'assouplissement des procédures au bénéfice des acheteurs publics et des opérateurs économiques. A titre d'exemple, nous prévoyons une réduction drastique de la documentation, notamment à travers le recours aux déclarations sur l'honneur et l'extension de l'usage de procédures électroniques.

Ces mesures participeront à améliorer l'accès aux marchés publics des PMEs, qui recèlent un potentiel considérable de création d'emplois, de croissance et d'innovation. A cette fin, sont mises en place également des mesures d'incitation à l'allotissement et le plafonnement des exigences de capacité financière.

Cette réforme permettra par ailleurs une meilleure qualification des marchés publics à travers la prise en compte d'objectifs sociétaux qu'il s'agisse de l'environnement ou l'intégration sociale. Cela se traduit notamment par l'introduction d’un concept du coût du cycle de vie et la possibilité donnée aux acheteurs publics de prendre en compte le processus spécifique de production des biens, travaux et services achetés dans le choix de l’attributaire du contrat. Les services sociaux et assimilés relèveront d'un nouveau régime simplifié instauré en leur faveur.

L’innovation sera spécifiquement favorisée par une nouvelle procédure de partenariat entre collectivités et entreprises pour l'innovation.

Le résultat des négociations est très bon et je suis confiant que le Parlement européen et le Conseil le confirmeront très rapidement. Je souhaite remercier vivement l'ensemble des personnes qui ont contribué à ce succès, et en particulier le rapporteur, M. Marc Tarabella et le président de la Commission marché intérieur, Malcolm Harbour, ainsi que les présidences chypriote, danoise et irlandaise pour leur implication et détermination à parvenir à des compromis et à une adoption en première lecture.

Background

The revision of the European Union public procurement rules was one of the twelve levers for growth set out in the Single Market Act (IP/11/469), and in December 2011, the Commission proposed the revision of the existing Directives (see IP/11/1580 and MEMO/11/931).

Main elements of the revised Directives:

(1) The simplification of the rules and procedures: this will benefit both contracting authorities and enterprises, notably SMEs. The new Directives broaden the possibilities for negotiation, while putting in place the safeguards needed to protect against their abuse; thus, the competitive procedure with negotiation may be used when justified by the specific circumstances relating e. g. to the nature, the complexity or the legal and financial make-up, or by the fact that the needs of the contracting authority cannot be met without adaptation of readily available solutions. The documentation required is reduced, notably through the compulsory acceptance of self-declarations from bidders; only the winning bidder will have to submit formal evidence (certificates and attestations). The minimum deadlines to submit tenders are shortened. Regional and local authorities may advertise their contracts via less burdensome prior-information notices and they may agree with the pre-selected bidders on the deadlines in their procurement procedures. The mandatory use of means of electronic communication in public procurement will increase accessibility to procurement thereby allowing EU companies – especially SMEs – to exploit the full benefits of the Digital Single Market and will bring efficiency gains (estimated savings: €100 billion p.a. on total EU public procurement).

(2) Strategic use of public procurement: specific measures aim at promoting the goals of the EU 2020 strategy (environment, social inclusion and innovation) and at allowing for a better integration of the environmental and social needs in public procurement, in particular:

the introduction of the "life cycle cost" concept will encourage public authorities to consider the full life cycle (including the CO2 footprint) of the products they intend to purchase;

contracting authorities may also take into account the production process of the specific works, services or supplies purchased, such as the inclusion of vulnerable and disadvantaged people or the use of non-toxic substances, in their award decisions;

the new partnership procedure for purchasing innovative goods and services and the new provisions to favour cross-border purchases should boost innovation.

More specifically on social inclusion, the current contracts reservation in favour of sheltered workshops is extended to economic operators whose main aim is the social and professional integration of disabled and disadvantaged workers; also the minimum required percentage of disabled or disadvantaged employees is reduced from 50% to 30%.

(3) Improving SMEs’ access to public procurement: SMEs represent 52% of the EU economy and they win 60% of contracts covered by the EU Directives; SMEs have a huge potential for job creation, growth and innovation. The reform precisely aims at facilitating the access of SMEs to public procurement in order to further exploit their potential. Therefore, a limitation was introduced on the turnover requirements as a proof of the financial capacity of the economic operators, to twice the estimated contract value and the division of contracts into lots is being encouraged through the “apply or explain” principle.

(4) New simplified regime for social and assimilated services: a transparent, flexible scheme, with a specifically higher threshold of 750.000 €, will apply to all services expressly identified in the Annex to the Directives; apart from social, health and cultural services, this list also includes additional services such as legal services, hotels and restaurants services, catering and canteen services. This new scheme will give even more freedom to Member States: only specific ex-ante and ex-post publicity is being required from now and of course the respect of the European principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment; for the rest national rules will apply. This new regime, which replaces the former simplified regime applicable to the so-called "B" or "non-priority" services", clarifies the legal framework by identifying all the services now falling under the new simplified regime.

(5) Soundness of procedures further guaranteed: The notion of “conflicts of interests” is being clarified and Member States have to take measures to effectively prevent, identify and remedy them. Exclusion grounds are strengthened and extended e.g. to cases of unduly influence on the decision process or serious misrepresentation in providing information on the absence of grounds of exclusion. The Directives will now provide for the compulsory exclusion in case of abnormally low tender when due to non-compliance of EU law in the field of social and labour law and environmental law and international social and environmental law. Finally, the rules governing the modifications of contracts have been simplified.

(5) Better application: A system for monitoring the implementation and functioning of the public procurement rules is provided and this will contribute to ensure better implementation and increased efficiency in using public resources; the system foresees monitoring by Member States at national level accompanied by specific reporting obligations to the Commission.


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