Public authorities can take account of ecological considerations for tendering procedures

  • Updated12 December 2002
  • News

In a judgement released in September, the European Court of Justice ruled that public authorities are entitled to take account of ecological considerations concerning the bus fleet offered for the award of bus services through tendering procedures. This decision was reached in a case raised by the company Concordia against a decision of the city of Helsinki.

The Court stated that contracting authorities may take ecological criteria into consideration for the award of public service contracts provided that those criteria are connected with the subject-matter of the contract, do not give the contracting authority an unrestricted freedom of choice, are expressly mentioned in the contract documents or the tender notice, and lastly comply with all the fundamental principles of Community law, in particular the principle of non-discrimination.

The principle of equal treatment does not prevent the taking into consideration of criteria of protection of the environment merely because the transport operator to whom the contract is awarded is one of the few undertakings able to offer a bus fleet which meets those criteria.