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European Court Favours Environmentally Responsible Public Procurement


On the 17th September 2002, the European Court of Justice confirmed that 'people matter' when local, regional and national contracting authorities spend taxpayers' money.

The Court found that the City of Helsinki was correct to award a call for tender for buses to a company whose buses emitted less air pollutants and noise, and not simply to the tender which provided the lowest cost offer.

This decision supports the call of the Coalition for Green and Social Procurement, which includes trade unions, fair trade organisation and environmentalists, that, when authorities spend taxpayers' money, the economic benefit must reflect the wider public interest and not just that of the contracting authority.

"This decision is a welcome and timely reminder to the European Commission and certain European Governments that contracting authorities are the trustees and not the owners of public money. If economic advantage is seen solely on behalf of the contracting authority, this ignores the wider health and social costs of pollution - costs that often come back to the local authorities," said Jan Willem Goudriaan, Deputy General Secretary of EPSU and member of the Coalition. "Any authority has an obligation to protect the public interest, and the court decision makes it clear that benefit should be for society as a whole. The implications of this landmark decision go beyond environmental considerations, and confirm the need for social, employment and ethical considerations to be more firmly reflected in the current revision of the directives on Public Procurement. "


The following lists all references contained in our database that are relevant to this briefing
Coalition for Green and Social Procurement Press Release  [Publication date: 17/9/2002] 'Whose money is it anyway? European Court Decision confirms EU Public Procurement Rules must reflect Public Interest' by Coalition for Green and Social Procurement
[Date URL accessed: 19/9/2002 | Source ID = 7181]

  [Publication date: 17/2/2002] 'Press Release: Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-513/99 Concordia Bus Finland Oy Ab v Helsingin kaupunki and HKL-Bussiliikenne'
   http://www.curia.eu.int/en/actu/communiques/cp02/aff/cp0273en.htm
[Date URL accessed: 14/2/2005 | Source ID = 7401]

Court of Justice  [Publication date: 17/9/2002] 'JUDGMENT OF THE COURT 17 September 2002(1) In Case C-513/99'
   http://curia.eu.int/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en&Submit=Submit&alldocs=alldoc
   s&docj=docj&docop=docop&docor=docor&docjo=docjo&numaff=C-513%2F99&datefs=&datefe
   =&nomusuel=&domaine=&mots=&resmax=100

[Date URL accessed: 14/2/2005 | Source ID = 13043]


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UNICORN is a Global Unions Anti-corruption Network. It is supported by the international trade union bodies: the TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD); Public Services International (PSI); and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).

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