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The Scope of Labour Law Requirements in Public Procurement - at the ILO, EU and Swedish Level

Vinterskog, Julia LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract
In 2008 public procurement made up 17-18 percent of the EU GDP. The issue of whether the disbursement of public funds can be used to promote social objectives, including preservation of labour law requirements or whether public authorities only shall take economic considerations into account when deciding what to purchase, has been subject to discussion. In this thesis, I have chosen to describe the scope of labour law requirements at an ILO, EU and Swedish level.

In 1949 the ILO Convention no. 94 on Labour clauses in public contracts was adopted. The rationale behind the Convention was partly to ensure that working costs were not used as a competitive mean and that the performance of a public contract should not entail a downward... (More)
In 2008 public procurement made up 17-18 percent of the EU GDP. The issue of whether the disbursement of public funds can be used to promote social objectives, including preservation of labour law requirements or whether public authorities only shall take economic considerations into account when deciding what to purchase, has been subject to discussion. In this thesis, I have chosen to describe the scope of labour law requirements at an ILO, EU and Swedish level.

In 1949 the ILO Convention no. 94 on Labour clauses in public contracts was adopted. The rationale behind the Convention was partly to ensure that working costs were not used as a competitive mean and that the performance of a public contract should not entail a downward effect on wages and working conditions. Ratifying states have obliged themselves to impose clauses in public contracts, requiring tenderers to observe prevailing working conditions in the locality, region or state concerned.

At the EU level, the Directives governing the coordination of public procurement were revised in 2004. The primary rationale behind the coordination at the EU level is to promote the integration of the internal market by ensuring that tenderers from all Member States enjoy equal opportunities to bid for a public contract. Those procurements that do not meet the thresholds set out in the Directives are still subject to the provisions of the Treaty, provided that they possess a transnational interest. Public procurement touch upon other areas where the Union legislator lacks competence or only enjoys shared competence. In Rüffert and Commission v Germany, the ECJ struck the balance between economic efficiency and social considerations and the former was in these cases given precedence. The scope of labour law requirements in public procurement was increased through the entering into force of the new Directives but has albeit been subject to criticism and discussion.

At the Swedish level, the legislation implementing the EU public procurement Directives entered into force in 2008. In 2010 a target provision was adopted in order to increase the possibilities to take social considerations into account during the public procurement procedures. The provision is not mandatory and has been criticized both by those in favour of a purely procedural legislation on public procurement and by those who wish to include social and labour law requirements.

I have chosen to discuss the scope of labour law requirements at an ILO, EU and Swedish level in the light of the provisions regulating a social market economy (Article 3(3) TEU), the reinforcement of fundamental rights and the principle of subsidiarity (Article 4(2) TEU). The absence or the non-harmonisation of a social dimension and its implications on national labour law structures, as identified by Scharpf and Joerges in their ‘decoupling’ theory, constitutes the theoretical starting point of this thesis. The social aim of the ILO Convention no. 94 is clear. In comparison, the scope for labour law requirements in EU public procurement law appears rather vague. The social endeavours set out both by the Directives and the Treaty have sometimes clashed with the rulings of the ECJ. This lack of clarity, could be seen as transposed to the Swedish level partly due to the quite literal implementation by the Swedish legislator. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Under 2008 svarade EU:s offentliga upphandling för 17-18 procent av EU:s BNP. Huruvida offentliga medel skall kunna användas som instrument för att förverkliga politiska ambitioner eller om upphandlande myndighet endast skall ta hänsyn till ekonomiska aspekter har varit föremål för diskussion. Jag har valt att kartlägga de normgivande regelverk som reglerar arbetsrättslig hänsyn vid offentlig upphandling på en ILO, EU-rättslig och svensk nationell nivå.

År 1949 antogs konvention nr. 94 om arbetsklausuler i offentliga kontrakt av Internationella Arbetsorganisationen, ILO. Syftet bakom införandet var dels att garantera att arbetskostnader inte skulle kunna användas som ett konkurrensmedel, dels att utförandet av offentliga kontrakt inte... (More)
Under 2008 svarade EU:s offentliga upphandling för 17-18 procent av EU:s BNP. Huruvida offentliga medel skall kunna användas som instrument för att förverkliga politiska ambitioner eller om upphandlande myndighet endast skall ta hänsyn till ekonomiska aspekter har varit föremål för diskussion. Jag har valt att kartlägga de normgivande regelverk som reglerar arbetsrättslig hänsyn vid offentlig upphandling på en ILO, EU-rättslig och svensk nationell nivå.

År 1949 antogs konvention nr. 94 om arbetsklausuler i offentliga kontrakt av Internationella Arbetsorganisationen, ILO. Syftet bakom införandet var dels att garantera att arbetskostnader inte skulle kunna användas som ett konkurrensmedel, dels att utförandet av offentliga kontrakt inte skulle inneha en skadlig effekt på löner och arbetsvillkor. Det sagda ansågs kunna tillses genom att införa krav på arbetsrättsliga klausuler i offentliga upphandlingskontrakt där lokala, regionala eller nationella arbetsvillkor skall respekteras av anbudsgivarna.

På en EU-rättslig nivå antogs två nya direktiv på det offentliga upphandlingsområdet år 2004. Det primära syftet var att stärka den inre marknaden genom att säkerställa att anbudsgivare från alla medlemsstaterna innehade samma möjligheter. De upphandlingar som ej når upp till de i direktiven fastställda gränsvärdena, faller likväl under fördragsbestämmelserna, förutsatt att de innehar ett gränsöverskridande intresse. Offentlig upphandling tangerar flera rättsområden, även om områden där unionslagstiftaren helt eller delvis saknar kompetens. EU-domstolen hade i målen Rüffert och Kommissionen mot Tyskland att ta ställning till balansen mellan den ekonomiska och sociala dimensionen. De nya upphandlingsdirektiven ansågs till viss del stärka möjligheten att integrera sociala hänsyn i offentliga upphandlingskontrakt.

Den svenska implementeringen av de nya upphandlingsdirektiven trädde i kraft 2008 och omfattar samtliga upphandlingar i Sverige. 2010 infördes en så kallad främjandeparagraf i den svenska upphandlingslagstiftningen vilken föreskrev att upphandlande myndigheter bör ta social hänsyn vid upphandlingen. Förespråkare för integration av sociala och arbetsrättsliga hänsyn vid offentlig upphandling menar att den svenska lagstiftaren varit alltför försiktig medan konkurrensfrämjare anser att införandet av en främjandeparagraf leder till osäkerhet för upphandlande myndigheter och anbudsgivare med snedvriden konkurrens som följd.

Utrymmet för arbetsrättsliga krav vid offentlig upphandling diskuteras i ljuset av Lissabonfördragets bestämmelser om en social marknadsekonomi (Artikel 3(3) EU-fördraget), förstärkandet av de grundläggande mänskliga rättigheterna och subsidiaritetsprincipen betonad i Artikel 4(2) EU-fördraget. Icke-harmoniseringen av en social dimension inom EU och dess implikationer för medlemsstaterna, såsom identifierad av Scharpf och Joerges, utgör den teoretiska utgångspunkten för min uppsats. Det sociala syftet bakom ILO konvention nr. 94 är tydligt framträdande i kontrast till den EU-rättsliga regleringen. De sociala strävanden som präglat den EU-rättsliga regleringen, både sekundär- och primärrätt, har vid ett antal tillfällen kolliderat med EU-domstolens avgöranden. Oklarheten kan anses ha överförts till svensk nivå då den svenska implementeringen ligger nära direktivens textuella utformning. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Vinterskog, Julia LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
labour law, EU law, public procurement, ILO
language
English
id
1969208
date added to LUP
2011-05-26 11:36:05
date last changed
2011-05-26 11:36:05
@misc{1969208,
  abstract     = {In 2008 public procurement made up 17-18 percent of the EU GDP. The issue of whether the disbursement of public funds can be used to promote social objectives, including preservation of labour law requirements or whether public authorities only shall take economic considerations into account when deciding what to purchase, has been subject to discussion. In this thesis, I have chosen to describe the scope of labour law requirements at an ILO, EU and Swedish level. 

In 1949 the ILO Convention no. 94 on Labour clauses in public contracts was adopted. The rationale behind the Convention was partly to ensure that working costs were not used as a competitive mean and that the performance of a public contract should not entail a downward effect on wages and working conditions. Ratifying states have obliged themselves to impose clauses in public contracts, requiring tenderers to observe prevailing working conditions in the locality, region or state concerned.

At the EU level, the Directives governing the coordination of public procurement were revised in 2004. The primary rationale behind the coordination at the EU level is to promote the integration of the internal market by ensuring that tenderers from all Member States enjoy equal opportunities to bid for a public contract. Those procurements that do not meet the thresholds set out in the Directives are still subject to the provisions of the Treaty, provided that they possess a transnational interest. Public procurement touch upon other areas where the Union legislator lacks competence or only enjoys shared competence. In Rüffert and Commission v Germany, the ECJ struck the balance between economic efficiency and social considerations and the former was in these cases given precedence. The scope of labour law requirements in public procurement was increased through the entering into force of the new Directives but has albeit been subject to criticism and discussion. 

At the Swedish level, the legislation implementing the EU public procurement Directives entered into force in 2008. In 2010 a target provision was adopted in order to increase the possibilities to take social considerations into account during the public procurement procedures. The provision is not mandatory and has been criticized both by those in favour of a purely procedural legislation on public procurement and by those who wish to include social and labour law requirements. 

I have chosen to discuss the scope of labour law requirements at an ILO, EU and Swedish level in the light of the provisions regulating a social market economy (Article 3(3) TEU), the reinforcement of fundamental rights and the principle of subsidiarity (Article 4(2) TEU). The absence or the non-harmonisation of a social dimension and its implications on national labour law structures, as identified by Scharpf and Joerges in their ‘decoupling’ theory, constitutes the theoretical starting point of this thesis. The social aim of the ILO Convention no. 94 is clear. In comparison, the scope for labour law requirements in EU public procurement law appears rather vague. The social endeavours set out both by the Directives and the Treaty have sometimes clashed with the rulings of the ECJ. This lack of clarity, could be seen as transposed to the Swedish level partly due to the quite literal implementation by the Swedish legislator.},
  author       = {Vinterskog, Julia},
  keyword      = {labour law,EU law,public procurement,ILO
},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Scope of Labour Law Requirements in Public Procurement - at the ILO, EU and Swedish Level},
  year         = {2011},
}