Strategic use of public procurement in promoting green, social and innovation policies

In June 2016, the DG GROW of the European Commission published a report entitled “Study on “Strategic use of public procurement in promoting green, social and innovation policies”” providing interesting information about public procurement in 10 countries of the European Union.

This study take stock of experiences in integrating green, social and innovation considerations in public procurement policy, processes and practices in 10 selected Member States (MS), namely Austria, France, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. More specifically, the study aims to assemble a comprehensive picture of the current strategic public procurement policies and practices in place, estimate the magnitude of strategic public procurement in those MS, and propose measures to further develop the use of strategic public procurement.

The report consists in different sections, each time focusing on the 10 selected MS:

  • Background of context of strategic public procurement
  • Methodological approach of the analysis
  • Analyses of the policy frameworks of strategic public procurement
  • Support actions to strategic public procurement
  • Practices of strategic public procurement
  • Monitoring and evaluation of strategic public procurement
  • In-depth country reports
  • Three case studies

The last section expands first on the main challenges related to strategic public procurement, notably the barriers and resistances of public buyers such as additional costs and workload as well as other cross-cutting challenges. Important barriers to strategic public procurement have been identified. From the perspective of the public buyer, barriers relate to: enhanced risk involved by such practices; increased workload; higher upfront costs; lack of clear value added; and gaps in necessary skills. From a market perspective, identified barriers relate to the lack of maturity for certain GPP/SRPP/PPI goods and services demanded, or conversely to lack of flexibility of the procurement process to showcase the best offer.

A list of lessons learnt and recommendations for a stronger uptake of strategic public procurement are also provided in the last section, based on identified good and bad practices.

The full report and the countries factsheets are available here: