01 November 2001
Purchasers can use their procurement policies as tools to combat unemployment, especially among the long-term unemployed, according to a clarification document released by the European Commission.
It says that local authorities can require contractors to set up training for the unemployed and recruit disabled people.
The clarifications come in the latest interpretive communication on public procurement, published last month. As public procurement amounts to 14 per cent of European Union gross domestic product, taking into account concerns such as unemployment when contracts are let could help sustainable development and economic renewal.
The clarifications are a welcome move and should allow purchasers to get more involved in developing authority strategies, said Peter Howarth, consultant to the Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IdeA).
The communication, following guidelines for environment-friendly procurement published in July, is available on the EC website at simap.eu.int