European Public Procurement Law
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleJUR-4EUPROCL
Credits (ECTS)7
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Law; Internationaal & Europees recht;
prof. mr. P.H.L.M. Kuypers
Other course modules lecturer
prof. mr. P.H.L.M. Kuypers
Other course modules lecturer
prof. mr. P.H.L.M. Kuypers
Other course modules lecturer
D.P.M. Straten
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
MSEM2  (30/01/2023 to 31/08/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
The aims of the course are to provide participants with the necessary background information concerning the nature of (European) public procurement law, its objectives and place within EU law, including the (economic and political) importance of EU procurement law:
  • A thorough knowledge of EU public procurement law with an emphasis on its goals, EU principles (based on the TFEU) and relevant case law. Special attention is paid to the European structure of procurement rules;
  • Thorough knowledge of the most important general principles of EU public procurement law, national legislation implementing EU public procurement rules and the legal protection of rights of interested parties;
  • Analysing the concept of ‘contracting authorities’, including bodies governed by public law, agencies and non-governmental bodies;
  • Understanding the differences between the categories of agreements that can be awarded, such as public service contracts, public concessions, framework agreements etc.;
  • Knowledge of public EU procurement procedures and the application of each of these procedures;
  • Insight in the relationship between EU public procurement law and other areas of law, such as competition, state aid and private law;
  • Understanding the enforcement of EU public procurement law and the remedies available under the review procedures;
  • Analysing the position of the European Commission and national courts in enforcing European public procurement law;
  • An insight in future developments within EU public procurement law.
The course concentrates on 9 different, but closely related, themes:

(1) Relationship with other areas of law and background of public procurement rules
(2) General principles of EU procurement law
(3) Which entities are contracting authorities submitted to the EU procurement rules?
(4) Contracts and concessions that are subject to the procurement rules
(5) Procurement procedures and thresholds
(6) Exceptions to the procurement rules
(7) Exclusion and qualification of tenderers
(8) Review, legal remedies and regulators
(9) Current developments: the 2014 directives and the application will be discussed during a visit to the EU institutions (European Commission) in Brussels (if possible).

The course addresses firstly a number of general issues starting with the history and origins of EU public procurement. The students are made familiar with the overall legal framework of procurement law at international and European level. Furthermore, the course shall deal with the place of procurement law in relation to other areas of law, such as specific branches of EU law, and more in particular the state aid rules and competition rules. Then the essential definitions in EU procurement law shall be discussed. From these definitions, secondly, a step will be made to general principles of European public procurement law. Only a few central principles will be studied in-depth. Judgments of the CJEU have had great importance on the development of public procurement and an impact in practice (e.g. the rules on transparency and equal treatment outside the application of the EU procurement directives). After this general introduction, the course will continue with discussing the substantive rules of EU public procurement law. In this field, we will first touch upon contracting authorities. Contracting authorities can be divided into several categories: state, regional bodies, bodies governed by public law, associations formed by one or several of such authorities. Apart from these authorities, there are central purchasing bodies and subsidised contracts. The course will touch lightly upon the procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors, including its specific scope of application. After that theme, the course will focus on the various types of public contracts, to be divided in public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts on the one hand and public works concessions as well as public service concessions on the other hand. Special categories in EU public procurement are the service contracts awarded on the basis of an exclusive right and the framework agreements. From the substantive rules, the course will turn to the procedural rules. The institutional set-up of public procurement law is of great interest and, therefore, attention must be paid to the main procedures in EU public procurement law: open procedure, restricted procedure, competitive dialogue, negotiated procedure, innovative partnership and design contests. Each of them has different features. Furthermore, the scope of application of the EU public procurement Directives depends largely on the estimated value of the contract and the applicable threshold. Therefore, the course will touch upon the methods of calculation of the (estimated) value of a contract, the question which threshold applies and whether the value of the contract or concession exceeds the EU thresholds. In practice, approximately 50% of all procurement procedures have as object public contracts or concessions with an estimated value under the EU thresholds. These contracts can in general not be concluded without a tender. The general principles of EU public procurement law govern these procedures and require i.a. transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination. In the course the consequences of the general EU principles for these procedures and the scope of the principles will be discussed. There must be a significant cross-border interest to justify a tendering procedure to enable undertakings from other EU Member States to examine the contract notice and submit an offer. The answer to the question whether a cross-border interest exists, and which criteria apply, will be part of the course. Procedures do not need to be followed under all circumstances. There are few exceptions to the obligation to tender a contract. In practice, particular attention is paid to public contracts and concessions not governed by the EU public procurement directives and of course the exceptions to the procurement rules. Under which circumstances is a contracting authority not obliged to tender? And if the obligation does not exist, which rules might nevertheless be applicable to a tender? Assuming that a tender is organized, the students will learn which phases need to be passed to come to the award of the contract or concession. The selection phase and the award phase will be discussed. How will the contracting authority verify the suitability and choice of participants in the tender? The personal situation of the candidate or tenderer might for example be a reason to exclude the potential contractor from participation in a public contract. Besides, the contracting authority will examine the personal situation, the suitability to pursue the professional activity, the economic and financial standing, and the technical or professional ability often by referring to quality assurance standards or (as the case may be) to environmental management standards. The necessary colliery is legal protection against decisions of the contracting authority. The EU public procurement rules include rules to ensure the effectiveness of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts as well. Directive 89/665/EEC, as amended by Directive 2007/66/EC, obliges the EU Member States to ensure that effective and rapid review procedures exist and to ensure that remedies are available against decisions taken by contracting authorities. During the tutorials, the review procedures and the remedies will be examined. In the course the students will discuss the remedies in Member States from a comparative angle. It will become clear that, contrary to substantive EU public procurement law, review procedures and remedies are still not harmonised and differ significantly. The course ends with a visit to the European Union and a meeting with EU officials about current developments in the area of public procurement law in the EU. Students will notice that EU public procurement law is a rapidly changing area of law that is increasingly dominated by EU rules. 
Presumed foreknowledge
·  Preliminary courses in EU law and minimum knowledge of EU law are recommended.
·  The course Harmonisation in the EU is recommended.
·  Preliminary courses required: none
·  A good command of the English language;
·  You must have completed the bachelor.

· A good command of the English language;
· Good basic knowledge of EU law;
· Preferably, students have successfully completed an undergraduate course in European Substantive law at their home university.
Test information
Participation and preparation of a case in a moot court during the course (15% of final grade) Written examination (85% of final grade)

Contact information

Prof. Pieter Kuypers, GR 02.010, e-mail pieter.kuypers@ru.nl.

Department International and European Law, mrs. M.C. (Charley) Berndsen-Teering, Montessorilaan 10, room GR 01.005, e-mail charley.berndsen@ru.nl

Required materials
A case law reader; This reader will be available from the ‘Dictatencentrale'.
A legislation reader; This reader will be available from the ‘Dictatencentrale'.
A Literature reader; This reader will be available from the ‘Dictatencentrale'.

Instructional modes
Weblecture group
Type of instructional modeWeblecture

Working group

The course is given in 13 weeks in the period February-May 2022. The course concentrates on 9 different themes, which are discussed in 12 tutorials and 1 day trip to Brussels to discuss current developments in EU procurement law with EU officials. The tutorials provide a general overview of the most important topics for the relevant theme. The students will write once a short paper to obtain insight, develop a critical view on case law and to practice writing skills.

Depending on the developments surrounding Covid-19, lectures may be (partly) offered in digital form this academic year.

Written exam
Test weight85
Test typeDigital exam with CIRRUS
OpportunitiesBlock MSEM2, Block MSEM2

Test weight15
Test typePresentation
OpportunitiesBlock MSEM2