The principal aim of the Handbook is to explain in concrete and non legal terms -making frequent use of best practice examples- how public purchasers can integrate environmental considerations into public procurement procedures. In particular, it clarifies the legal possibilities created by the new public procurement directives which allow for environmental considerations in technical specifications, selection and award criteria and contract performance clauses. It takes into account the most recent jurisprudence of the Court of Justice in this field.
The Handbook is a strong promotional tool and is primarily aimed at contracting authorities at all administrative levels all over the European Union. Indeed, it is expected that, by clarifying the existing legal possibilities, "green" public procurement will become more attractive to contracting authorities, who annually spend between 14 and 16 % of EU GDP.
It should be of particular use to local authorities, as they do not always have access to a good range of legal and environmental advice.
The Handbook is a working document of the Commission services. It will be translated in all official languages and published in book format by the OPOCE. It will be possible to download it from the EUROPA website.