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The European Union public procurement system has traditionally aimed for public sector bodies to make purchases through efficient use of public funds and also to ensure free competition between economic operators when participating in the public procurement tendering procedures. All this in order to guarantee freedom of movement of goods and services at Community level and, consequently, to avoid discriminatory, arbitrary or non-transparent behaviour in awarding public contracts.

The Research Group has focused its work on the study of the following topics: Community Law on public contracts and Community case-law of the European Union Court of Justice; in-house assignments and differentiation of public contracts; the execution of public contracts and the study of the prerogatives of the Public Administration; the procedure for the award of public contracts, etc.

Current regulation of public procurement and, especially, the new proposal for a Directive on public procurement anticipate that this technique will also be used with a third objective: to support compliance with the environmental and social public policies and those for the promotion of innovation and technological development. Public procurement represents 16% of the domestic market (equivalent to the GDP of the Federal Republic of Germany), which indicates the ability of the public market to set the trends in production, consumption, technological development and corporate social responsibility. At present, the group is particularly focusing efforts on the analysis of public procurement as a market instrument aimed at supporting the objectives of different public policies.