The Parliament adopted a conciliation agreement on the final remaining points of disagreement over public procurement, namely the criteria for awarding public contracts. One of the disputed issues was on applying sustainability criteria in the award phase of the tender evaluation. Disagreement on whether and how the award criteria used revolved around their justification by economic considerations of the awarding authority. An earlier compromise stated that there has to be an economic advantage but only "from the point of view of the contracting authority" (and not as formerly formulated "for the contracting authority"). This leaves the door open for any sort of environmental concerns in the award phase (e.g. external costs related to air pollution).
The final vote in the European Parliament took take place on 29 January 2004. To review the proceedings, please go to European Parliament's website
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