Institute for Social Private Law
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Research projects in the Department of Labour Law

Social considerations and public procurement in the Single Market
The question of how the economic objectives which the Single Market is intended to realise can and should be balanced against the social objectives which are also a part of EU policy is one of steadily growing importance. A subsidiary issue concerns the extent to which Community law permits national authorities and other purchasing units to make the award of a public contract conditional on the tenderer meeting certain social requirements. This has been a moot point for decades, and is but partly resolved by the new procurement directives adopted in 2004. It is clear that the directives afford a certain amount of scope for social considerations. The remaining issues concern the type of social criteria which a procuring unit may employ and the stages of the procurement process at which those criteria can be asserted. This is a highly topical issue in Sweden, for several reasons.

The purpose of the project is to chart in a comparative perspective the scope for social considerations in public procurement. The study will begin by considering how the procurement directives have been implemented in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the UK, Germany and France. An analysis will then be made of the relationship between regulations on the free movement of services, to which the procurement procedure belongs, and the scope available to Member States for sustaining social stipulations.

In terms of method, the study can be assigned to jurisprudence/legal dogmatics, but it also involves a comparative and legal political approach.

Participants: The project is being conducted by Professor Niklas Bruun, Helsinki University, and Kerstin Ahlberg, Hon. L.L. D., Stockholm University.

Duration: 1st October 2007 – 30th June 2009

Funding agency: the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS)

Contact person: Kerstin Ahlberg
kerstin.ahlberg@juridicum.su.se