European public procurement
Policies of European Public procurement are drawn by the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs (DG GROW)
The EU directives on public procurement, whose core principles are transparency, open competition, and sound procedural management, cover tenders that are expected to be worth more than a given threshold. They are designed to achieve a procurement market that is competitive, open, and well regulated – essential to put public funds to good use.
Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union
All public tenders above specific contract values must be published in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (S series, Official Journal S or OJ S) and published throughout the EU.
The Official Journal S is available exclusively in electronic format and is accessible on TED website. Access to TED is free of charge.
In addition to current tenders, the TED database allows access to the archives of the S series in all EU languages. A single search interface allows the user to select or to enter multiple search criteria, including geographical data, type of document, nature of contract, keywords and more.
The contract value thresholds above which an invitation to tender must be published throughout the EU are laid down in EU directives. The following table provides information on the nature of a contract, the contract value (thresholds) and the relevant EU directives:
|Type of Contract
|5 538 000 EUR
|143 000 EUR
|143 000 EUR
All other supplies and services in the
sectors of water, energy and transport
|443 000 EUR
More detailed information about thresholds can be found on the page of DG GROW.
What is published in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union?
Each public procurement procedure involves several stages. Depending on the legal basis and type of procedure one or more announcements (notices) are published in the online version of the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (TED).
The most widely used procedures involve a competition notice, which informs potential tenderers of the procedure and how it will be carried out, and a contract award notice, which announces the outcome of the procedure such as the suppliers who have successfully signed a contract with the public buyer. Other types of notices include planning notices, direct award preannouncements, design contests and contract modifications, as well as changes to each type of notice.
A wide range of public buyers publish their notices on TED, including central, regional, local and international authorities, as well as other bodies, public undertakings and organisations controlled or subsidised by these authorities.
Each year services, supply and public works contracts worth about EUR 815 billion are published by public authorities in the EU and every working day the Supplement to the Official Journal publishes over 3000 invitations to tender, contract awards and other announcements.
Notices published on TED come from the following legal bases and sectors:
- General public contracts for works, supplies and services (Directive 2014/24/EU)
- Procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (Directive 2014/25/EU)
- Award of concession contracts (Directive 2014/23/EU)
- Award of contracts in the fields of defence and security (Directive 2009/81/EC)
- Public passenger transport services by rail and by road (Regulation (EC) 1370/2007)
- Contracts from the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) (Decision 94/1/EC, ECSC) and from Switzerland (Decision 2002/309/EC, Euratom)
- Contracts from EU candidate countries
- Contracts from EU institutions (Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046) and the European Central Bank (ECB) (Decision (EU) 2016/245)
- European Development Fund and external aid contracts
- Projects financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB)
- Notices concerning European Companies (Regulation (EC) 2157/2001), European Cooperative Societies (Regulation (EC) 1435/2003) and European Economic Interest Groupings (Regulation (EEC) 2137/85)
Other legislation that uses procurement notices to monitor their implementation, including the Clean Vehicles Directive (2009/33/EC), Foreign Subsidies Regulation (2022/2560), International Procurement Instrument (Regulation 2022/1031) and Energy Efficiency Directive (2023/1791).
Since 1 January 2021, UK contracting authorities and contracting entities can no longer publish procurement notices on TED. This is because EU rules on public procurement have ceased to apply both to and within the United Kingdom.
Procurement notices related to procedures published by 31 December 2020 will still be published on TED as UK contracting authorities and contracting entities must still apply EU law to ongoing procedures (i.e. those published by 31 December 2020). Therefore, they must send their relevant notices (e.g. corrigenda notices, contract award notices, contract modification notices) to TED.