EU rules on public procurement aim to increase efficiency in public spending (boosting competition, reducing prices and improving services for the user). However, the ETUC does not believe in an exclusively economic approach to public procurement. Public authorities have a responsibility to use public money to promote cohesive social and economic development, good quality employment and quality services and products.
The ETUC has actively contributed to the adoption of modernised rules for public procurement, pressing for a more socially orientated framework. The new Public Procurement Directive 2014/24/EU introduced some positive developments – among them a binding social clause. This gives unions a stronger platform for pressing key demands such as respect for collective bargaining agreements, social criteria and greater transparency.