European public procurement

Policies

Policies of European Public procurement are drawn by the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs (DG GROW).

The EU directives on public procurement, whose core principles are transparency, open competition, and sound procedural management, cover tenders that are expected to be worth more than a given threshold. They are designed to achieve a procurement market that is competitive, open, and well regulated – essential to put public funds to good use.

Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union

All public tenders above specific contract values must be published in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (S series, Official Journal S or OJ S) and published throughout the EU.

The Official Journal S is available exclusively in electronic format and is accessible on TED website. Access to TED is free of charge.

In addition to current tenders, the TED database allows access to the archives of the S series in all EU languages. A single search interface allows the user to select or to enter multiple search criteria, including geographical data, type of document, nature of contract, keywords and more.

Thresholds

The contract value thresholds above which an invitation to tender must be published throughout the EU are laid down in EU directives. The following table provides information on the nature of a contract, the contract value (thresholds) and the relevant EU directives:

Type of Contract Threshold
Public works 5 225 000 EUR
Service contracts 209 000 EUR
Supplies contracts 209 000 EUR
Supplies and services in the sectors of water, energy and transport 418 000 EUR
Contracts falling under the GPA agreements 135 000 EUR

More detailed information about thresholds can be found on the page of DG GROW.

What we publish

The awarding authorities for tenders are central government, local or regional authorities, bodies governed by public law, or associations consisting of one or more of these authorities or bodies governed by public law.

Each year supply and public works contracts worth about EUR 300 billion are published by public authorities in the EU. Each day the Supplement to the Official Journal publishes over 1,000 tenders containing invitations to tender in the following sectors:

  • Public contracts for works, supply and services from all EU Member States;
  • Utilities contracts (water, energy, transport and telecommunications sectors);
  • Public contracts from EU institutions;
  • External aid and European Development Fund contracts (ACP countries);
  • Phare, Tacis and other contracts from Central and Eastern Europe;
  • European Investment Bank (EIB), European Central Bank (ECB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) financed projects;
  • Contracts from the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein);
  • Contracts pursuant to the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), concluded within the framework of the GATT/World Trade Organisation (WTO), from Switzerland;
  • Notices concerning European Economic Interest Groups (EEIG);
  • Public contracts for air services.