EU guide to procurement

18th of May 2011

The European Commission has launched Buying Social: a Guide to Take Account of Social Considerations in Public Procurement. This new publication is designed to be a concrete tool in helping public authorities to buy goods and services in a socially responsible way in line with EU rules. It also highlights the contribution public procurement can make to stimulate greater
social inclusion.

The document is illustrated by a number of practical examples covering a broad range of social issues, such as promoting equal chances and employment opportunities, improving labour conditions and social inclusion of vulnerable persons.

However UNI Europa - the umbrella organisation of trade unions, social and sustainable development organisations - has been critical of the guide. It says it has "failed to reflect the true potential of public procurement as an instrument in support of social and sustainable development objectives".

In a statement it said: "This is a missed opportunity to actively encourage authorities to introduce social considerations in public procurement in the context of a proactive approach to sustainable procurement."

To download a copy of the guide:


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