“Buy Local, Buy Social” – wake up and smell the coffee??

We posted a while ago on The Guardian’s Higher Education procurement piece which promoted the “buy local, buy social” idea. The Dutch Coffee case (see also previous posts) explored how and to what extent horizontal policies can legitimately be given effect to through public procurement.

The attached written answer recently issued in the European Parliament on behalf of the Commission neatly summarises the current state of play in the law without resort to any catchphrases.

Contracting Authorities CAN buy social and they CAN buy local. It is by no means straightforward and easy to do it within the law, however, and (we would say this, wouldn’t we?) they should take specialist advice before attempting to do so.

Incidentally, our earlier post of today on the issues of the procurement of MEP’s phones seems to suggest that the European Parliament is not necessarily listening to (or, at any rate, heeding) its own advice….


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