Public Procurement in the COVID-19 crisis: opportunities and challenges

By Marc Martens, Alexander Csaki, Kevin Munugu, Mikkel Taanum, Peter Jorgensen, Katia Duncker, Aarne Puisto, Boris Martor; Raphaël Weiss, Martin Conrads, Simone Cadeddu, Jacopo Nardelli, Wouter Pors, Janneke Kohlen, Chris Murray, Claire Gamage

01-2021

On the 7 January Bird & Bird’s public procurement specialists within the life sciences and healthcare sector hosted an international webinar to discuss the big legal challenges faced within the EU around public procurement in the COVID-19 crisis, as well as holding separate interactive jurisdictional breakout sessions exploring the varying issues relevant at a national level.

In their response to the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis, contracting authorities within Europe have experienced many challenges. Despite the guidance issued by the EU on using the public procurement framework in an emergency situation such as COVID-19, and the exceptional measures taken at national level that have followed, many contracts have been awarded without the application of the public procurement rules and without any form of (ex-post) transparency.

The extreme and immediate needs of the healthcare sector including scarcity of medical supplies, supply interruptions, transport disruptions, protectionist measures, lockdowns and lack of EU manufacturing capacity have exposed the vulnerabilities of the European market. As time passes, it may arguably be more difficult to rely on extreme urgency and unforeseeable circumstances, especially during the roll out phase of vaccination programmes.

Our team of leading experts provided the very latest legal updates and addressed concerns and questions which could arise before the vaccination roll out process begins throughout the EU. Click here to view the on demand the recording.

 

Authors