- Elgar European Law series
Chapter 1: Public procurement and the single market
1. Public procurement and the single market PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND THE CONCEPT OF PUBLIC MARKETS The main reason for regulating public sector and utilities procurement is to bring their respective markets in parallel to the operation of private markets. European policy makers have recognized the distinctive character of public markets and focused on establishing conditions similar to those that control the operation of private markets. The public markets reflect an economic equation where the demand side is represented by the public sector at large and the utilities, whereas the supply side covers the industry. The state and its organs would enter the market place in pursuit of public interest.1 However, the activities of the state and its organs do not display the commercial characteristics of private entrepreneurship, as the aim of the public sector is not the maximization of profits but the observance of public interest.2 This fundamental difference emerges as the ground for the creation of public markets where public interest substitutes profit maximization.3 However, further variances distinguish private from public markets. These focus on structural elements of the market place, competitiveness, demand conditions, supply conditions, the production process, and finally pricing and 1 See Valadou, La notion de pouvoir adjudicateur en matière de marchés de travaux, Semaine Juridique, 1991, Ed. E, No.3; Bovis, La notion et les attributions d’organisme de droit public comme pouvoirs adjudicateurs dans le régime des marchés publics, Contrats Publics, September 2003. 2 Flamme et Flamme, Enfin l’Europe des Marchés...
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