New book about sustainable public procurement under EU law

How effective is the EU public procurement law in light of the overarching goal of sustainability? Having analysed this quetsion, there are still some major issues which remain unsolved, according to the editors Beate Sjåfjell and Anja Wiesbrock.

Published at Cambridge University Press, 2015

The book Sustainable Public Procurement under EU Law –  New Perspectives on the State as Stakeholder examines different aspects of public procurement, such as life cycle costing (LCC), eco- and fairtrade labels, the mandatory horizontal rule on environmental and social legal compliance and framework agreements, to understand the potential and obstacles for sustainability.

– We have followed closely the recent modernisation of the EU Public Procurement Directives, which had as one of its main objectives to facilitate a qualitative improvement in the use of public procurement by ensuring greater consideration for social environmental criteria, explains Anja Wiesbrock, senior advisor at the Research Council of Norway, and former postdoctoral scholar at the University of Oslo.

– After having read through the new rules, it appeared to us that, in spite of an increased focus on using public purchasing as a tool to achieve non-economic objectives, the new Directives leave many issues unresolved and are far from as effective as initially claimed in securing the inclusion of social and environmental considerations in public procurement procedures. We were eager to explore this first impression in detail, especially against the backdrop of national implementation procedures and debates.

Relevant for researchers, policy makers and practitioners

Professor Beate Sjåfjell believes the book will be of interest to academics in a variety of fields, including general EU law, public procurement law, company law, labour law and environmental law. Due to its coverage of various specific public procurement issues as well as a more general discussion on the implications of the modernised regime for the balancing of economic and social objectives in the EU, it is, according to the editors, likely to appeal to a wide range of scholars.

The book is also relevant for, and provides specific tools for, policy makers and practitioners in the field, such as staff members of the EU institutions and national administrations.

  • Being published at a time where the transposition of the new public procurement directives into national laws still ongoing in many Member States, the book will be particularly relevant for national experts involved in the implementation process, the editors conclude.

The launch date is 9 December 2015 and you can read more about the book at

The book will be launched at the conference on Corporate Groups and Regulatory Evasion.

The book contains the following chapters

1. Why should public procurement be about sustainability?

2. The uneasy relationship between EU environmental and economic policies: the role of the Court of Justice

3. The link to the subject-matter: a glass ceiling for sustainable public contracts?

4. Socially responsible public procurement: European value or national choice?

5. Labels as enablers of sustainable public procurement

6. Life cycle costing for sustainable public procurement in the European Union

7. Sustainable public procurement under framework agreements

8. The role of SMEs in promoting sustainable procurement

9. Sustainable public procurement as a driver for sustainable companies? The interface between company law and procurement law

10. Using contracts to further sustainability? A contract law perspective on sustainable public procurement

11. Public procurement's potential for sustainability


Published Jan. 12, 2016 11:27 AM - Last modified June 30, 2020 2:28 PM