EFCI attends EP hearing on social impact of public procurement

27th of December 2023
EFCI attends EP hearing on social impact of public procurement

Towards the end of last year EFCI participated in a hearing, organised by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (EMPL) to discuss the findings of a report on the social impact of the current public procurement provisions. For the first time, EFCI was
given the opportunity to present its views before the members of the European Parliament on an
issue of fundamental importance for the sector. Director general Matteo Matarazzo tells us more. 

Following the invitation of the president of the EMPL Committee, MEP Dragos Pislaru, EFCI president Lorenzo Mattioli took part in the October hearing of the European Parliament on the social impact of the 2014 public procurement directive.

At the centre of the exchanges, the presentation of a report commissioned by the EMPL Committee, investigating how the current provisions of the directive have contributed (or not) to the achievement of more social objectives through public procurement.

Following the presentation of the report by its authors, different speakers have taken the floor: Professor Schulten from the Hans-Bockler Stiftung, Dr Jaerhling from the Duisburg-Essen University, Mr Skjellerup from the Municipality of Copenhagen and Mr Rothig, regional secretary of UNIEuropa, the trade union counterpart of EFCI in the sectoral social dialogue.

During his presentation, Mattioli emphasised the following key points:

Economic impact
Public procurement significantly influences the cleaning industry, contributing up to 50 per cent of turnover in some countries. This not only sustains financial health but also shapes market conditions for private clients.

Labour costs challenge
With labour costs exceeding 80 per cent of the industry’s total expenses, recent inflationary trends, particularly in salary adjustments, present financial challenges, impacting the sector’s overall landscape.

Directive gaps
The 2014 public procurement directive lacks clarity on price revision mechanisms, leading to varied regulations across Member States. Companies struggle to recover increased salary costs, operating at a loss, and facing sustainability concerns.

Advocacy for change
EFCI, alongside stakeholders, advocates for explicit guarantees in the directive, enabling member states to revise public contract prices. This push aims to ensure companies can recover increased costs, upholding service quality and employment standards.

Financial dimensions
A presented study highlighted concerns about financial conditions in tender awards. Despite the “best quality-price ratio” principle, tenders often prioritise the lowest price, potentially compromising service quality.

Call for professionalisation
The study emphasised member states’ tendency to award tenders solely based on the lowest price, underscoring the need for improved technical capacity and enforcement. Public authorities play a crucial role in fostering professionalisation among contracting authorities.

As the industry adapts to these challenges, ongoing discussions, including an event on public procurement in November, will shape the future of the cleaning industry. Stay tuned for updates in our commitment to navigate this evolving landscape.

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  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited