EFCI attends the EP hearing on the social impact of Public Procurement
On Wednesday 25 October EFCI has participated in the hearing, organized by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (EMPL) to discuss the findings of a report on the social impact of the current public procurement provisions. For the first time, EFCI has been given the opportunity to present its views before the Members of the European Parliament on an issue of fundamental importance for the sector.
Following the invitation of the President of the EMPL Committee, MEP Dragos Pislaru, EFCI President took part last Wednesday 25 October in a hearing of the European Parliament on the social impact of the 2014 public procurement directive. At the center of the exchanges, the presentation of a report commissioned by the EMPL Committee, investigating how the current provisions of the directive have contributed (or not) to the achievement of more social objectives through public procurement.
Following the presentation of the report by its authors, different speakers have taken the floor: prof. Schulten from the Hans-Bockler Stiftung, Dr. Jaerhling from the Duisburg-Essen University, Mr. Skjellerup from the Municipality of Copenhagen and Mr. Rothig, Regional Secretary of UNIEuropa –the trade union counterpart of EFCI in the sectoral social dialogue.
In his contribution, Mr. Mattioli emphasized the following key points:
Economic Impact: Public procurement significantly influences the cleaning industry, contributing up to 50% of turnover in some countries. This not only sustains financial health but also shapes market conditions for private clients.
Labor Costs Challenge: With labor costs exceeding 80% of the industry’s total expenses, recent inflationary trends, particularly in salary adjustments, present financial challenges, impacting the sector’s overall landscape.
Directive Gaps: The 2014 public procurement directive lacks clarity on price revision mechanisms, leading to varied regulations across Member States. Companies struggle to recover increased salary costs, operating at a loss, and facing sustainability concerns.
Advocacy for Change: EFCI, alongside stakeholders, advocates for explicit guarantees in the directive, enabling Member States to revise public contract prices. This push aims to ensure companies can recover increased costs, upholding service quality and employment standards.
Financial Dimensions: A presented study highlighted concerns about financial conditions in tender awards. Despite the “best quality-price ratio” principle, tenders often prioritize the lowest price, potentially compromising service quality.
Call for Professionalization: The study emphasized Member States’ tendency to award tenders solely based on the lowest price, underscoring the need for improved technical capacity and enforcement. Public authorities play a crucial role in fostering professionalization among contracting authorities.
As the industry adapts to these challenges, ongoing discussions, including the upcoming November 14 event on public procurement, will shape the future of the cleaning industry. Stay tuned for updates in our commitment to navigate this evolving landscape.
European Parliament, 25 October 2023