The European Commission has published interpretative guidelines on a fair placement of minor contracts by the public sector. The new guidelines, on which an interpretative notice is available, contain proposals on how public authorities should proceed in accordance with the EU single market principles of transparency and anti-discrimination. Examples for illustration are given as well. The new guidelines also apply to certain services which are not completely covered by already existing EU directives on public procurement.
Minor volume contracts represent the majority in European public procurement amounting to more than 90 percent in some member states. These contracts provide good opportunities in particular for small and medium-sized entities. The EU directives on public procurement, however, do not apply to these minor contracts since their value is below 211.000 Euros (for services or supplies) or less than 5.278.000 Euros for constructional work contracts. The interpretative notice by the Commission is intended as guidance for public customers in the implementation of standards put forward by the European Court of Justice.