Netherlands applies new EU procurement rules

Thursday May 19th, 2011

The European Commission (EC) announced that the Netherlands has agreed to apply EU rules for land development projects in Ede and for public contracts for fire insurance.

The EC said it has welcomed the Netherlands’ compliance with EU public procurement rules in two cases, one concerning real estate development in the municipality of Ede and the other concerning Dutch authorities’ practices when awarding public contracts for fire insurance.

Following the pursuit of infringement cases by the Commission, the Dutch authorities have now agreed to correctly apply EU public procurement rules, so that the public contracts are awarded in a fair and transparent manner and are open to all interested companies in the EU. The EC said that Dutch taxpayers can now be assured that these contracts will be awarded on the basis of best value for money. The Commission has therefore closed the infringement cases in question.

On a website statement, the Commission said: “The Commission opened an infringement procedure because the Dutch municipality of Ede awarded several contracts for the land development project ‘Het Nieuwe Landgoed’ to one developer, without having carried out a pan-European tender procedure. The contractor was to develop a centre for commercial and social use, including a sports hall, as well as approximately 1 168 parking spaces and 648 houses, including 60 for social housing. The total value of the contracts was approximately €140m.

“The Commission considered that the contracts concerned were public works contracts and a public works concession and as such should have been awarded following the publication of contract notices in the EU Official Journal and the completion of a tendering process. The Commission was therefore of the opinion that in the absence of such a tendering process, The Netherlands had failed to fulfil its obligations under EU public procurement rules.”

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