Members of European Parliament launch “Public Procurement Alliance”

The Alliance supports the UNI Europa campaign “No public contract without collective agreement” and its political demands.

Members of European Parliament launch “Public Procurement Alliance”

The calls for greater social investment in the next EU mandate grew louder last week in Brussels. First, the La Hulpe declaration called for “sustainable public procurement, including to promote collective bargaining”. Then, Enrico Letta’s report on the Single Market stated that: “Public procurement regulations must ensure that contracts foster the creation of high-quality jobs, characterised by fair wages and conditions underpinned by collective agreements”. 

Now, on 23 April 2024, a broad majority in the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) committee launched a new initiative in the fight for decent working for the workers across Europe. Together, the committee’s coordinators – the parliamentary group’s political leader in the EMPL committee – announced the launch of the “Public Procurement Alliance”. 

A new alliance for fair public procurement

The Public Procurement Alliance – which includes MEP Dennis Radtke (EPP, Germany), MEP Agnes Jongerius from (S&D, the Netherlands), MEP Sara Matthieu (Greens, Belgium) and MEP Nikolaj Villumsen (The Left, Denmark) – sets out to stop the downward cycle of public procurement.  

Too often, publicly funded projects are granted to companies that endanger workers by disregarding essential health and safety standards, or by exploiting posted workers through sub-minimum wage payments. This model of public procurement incentivises businesses to compete by lowering working conditions, offering the lowest bids at the expense of fairness and safe competition. 

In contrast, the Public Procurement Alliance published a declaration that states: “The public should not finance social dumping. Rather we want to finance and promote companies that respect our collective rules and values while providing solutions to the welfare and environmental challenges of our time.” 

Moreover, the declaration supports the UNI Europa campaign No public contract without collective agreement and the Pledge for #ProcuringDecentWork, which all the members of the Alliance have signed.  

The Public Procurement Alliance works towards fair public procurement, which includes the need to: 

  1. revise the EU’s public procurement framework and make social clauses mandatory in all public tenders throughout the subcontracting chain. 
  2. ensure that public tenders only are awarded to companies that respect collective bargaining and trade unions.  
  3. empower contracting authorities on the basis of fundamental ILO Conventions, such as Conventions 98 and 87, with the authority to exclude companies from public tenders that commit fraud or breach workers’ rights.   
  4. clearly limit subcontracting chains in public tenders.   
  5. ensure up-skilling of workers.  

Real change in the next EU mandate

UNI Europa, the European Services Workers Union representing 7 million workers across Europe, welcomes the launch of the alliance and its declaration. UNI Europa Regional Secretary Oliver Roethig said: “Members of European Parliament Dennis Radtke, Agnes Jongerius, Sara Matthieu and Nikolaj Villumsen are stepping up for workers through the launch of the Public Procurement Alliance. To win a fairer and more just Europe, we need Members of European Parliament who push our public institutions to collective bargaining in public procurement processes.”

These developments come after a European Parliament hearing on public procurement in October 2023, where a clear consensus on stronger collective bargaining emerged. Shortly after, in January 2024, the European Commissions responded to the European Parliament: “The Commission is committed to look at whether further specific actions [in public procurement] this includes absolutely the social consideration”. Now, with the La Hulpe declaration and the Letta report, all EU institutions have made the case for revising the Public Procurement Directive. 

With these strong political signals coming from across the EU institutions – now accompanied by the Public Procurement Alliance – the fight for collective bargaining, decent work and socially responsible public procurement is on for real changes in the next EU mandate. 

Meetings & Events

2024

03

Jun

UNI Europa ICTS Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Telecoms – 03/06/2024

ICT & Related Services

To the Members of the UNI Europa delegation in the Telecom Social Dialogue Committee

Dear colleagues,

We would like to invite you to the next Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee Meeting for Telecommunications which will take place on the 03rd of June 2024.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MEETING WILL BE HELD EXCLUSIVELY ONLINE

04

Jun

Commerce Steering Committee

Commerce

04

Jun

Protected: Uni Europa Commerce Steering Committee meeting – 4 June 2024

Commerce