Reformation or Deformation of the EU Public Procurement Rules
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Reformation or Deformation of the EU Public Procurement Rules

Edited by Grith S. Ølykke and Albert Sanchez-Graells

Using an innovative ‘law and political science’ methodology, this timely book carries out a critical assessment of the reform of the EU public procurement rules. It provides a rich account of the policy directions and the spaces for national regulatory decisions in the transposition of the 2014 Public Procurement Package, as well as areas of uncertainty and indications on how to interpret the rules in order to make them operational in practice.
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Chapter 13: Subcontracting matters: Articles 43 and 71 of the 2014 Directive

Richard Craven


The way in which subcontracting may undermine environmental, social and labour law requirements is, for the first time in the EU’s regulation of procurement, given specific attention: Article 71 of the 2014 Directive sets out new rules on subcontracting, which include the imposition of mandatory and optional information requirements and Article 43 provides new rules on labels, which are used to verify the environmental and/or social sustainability of goods and services. This chapter reviews the origins of the rules on subcontracting and labels and considers the way in which these rules developed over the course of negotiations towards the 2014 Directive. The two articles are quite different to what was originally proposed by the Commission. This is down to the Council and the Parliament, but also, importantly, to the CJEU, which handed down its judgment in Commission v Netherlands concerning fair trade coffee at a crucial stage in the negotiations. The Council was prominent in ensuring reformed rules on labels that much better facilitate their use. The increased regulation of subcontracting can be seen to derive from the Parliament. This regulation, which increases the amount and complexity of EU procurement law, lacks strength, and its necessity and desirability is more questionable.

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