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IMCO-Committee meeting on the revision of the EU directive on public procurement (second phase of consideration of amendments regarding clusters 6 to 10) at the European Parliament

The meeting can be summarized as follows: The purpose was to consider the amendments regarding the thematic clusters 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, which are linked with the Rapporteur’s draft report of May 2012 (see in this regard the Secretariat notes of 25th May and 20th September 2012). Indeed, the Rapporteur Marc Tarabella had created a list of ten thematic clusters in order to structure the debate.

At the beginning of the meeting, he presented the state of play of negotiations that took place in the IMCO-Committee since September. He explained that on clusters 1 and 4, discussions are almost closed and added that he wishes to continue to study closely the clusters 2, 3, 7 and 8 with IMCO members. Clusters 5, 9 and 10 have not yet been addressed. As several in camera IMCO meetings took place since September, he reported that the work of compromise was on good way but did not want to further explain the content of the internal technical IMCO work.

 

Furthermore, he reported that other in camera meetings will take place in November and informed that the approximate time-table of the legislative procedure is as follows:

·   28th November 2012: Consideration of compromise amendments in the IMCO-Committee

·   29th November 2012: Vote of adoption in the IMCO-Committee

·   February 2013: Vote in plenary at the European Parliament in Strasbourg (estimate)

 

Following this update, several Shadow Rapporteurs and other IMCO members representing the different political groups within the parliamentary Committee explained their different points of satisfaction and disagreement with the work undertaken until now. All IMCO members will have a great influence on the votes of the MEP’s of their political groups at the time the public procurement revision will be debated in the plenary session at the European Parliament in 2013. Their diverse comments stressed again the necessity to find good compromises on the final text as to produce a revised Directive, which is effective and meets its main objectives, which are: to simplify and make the rules clearer and more transparent, to reduce the administrative burden in particular for companies and public entities and to promote a fair competition in public procurement.

 

After this exchange of views, the Rapporteur answered to various questions and stressed again his willingness to eliminate the criterion of the lowest price in the new directive. To underline his argument, he took the example of sound companies in the cleaning industry and in other sectors, which respect collective agreements and the social rights of their workers, but which loose public contracts due to unsound companies proposing prices that do not respect the legal obligations for wages, social security contributions and taxes.

To conclude, he explained that the proposed revision will be discussed by the Council on 21 November 2012, as a mandate for agreement has been given by Member States to the Council. The work of compromise between the European Parliament and the Council will therefore probably take place between December 2012 and February 2013.