Brussels, 14 December 2005

Public procurement: infringement procedures against Spain

The European Commission has taken action against Spain to correct breaches of EU public procurement law.  The Commission has formally requested Spain to modify the law on town planning (known as 'LRAU') that applies to the Valencia Community. This request takes the form of a "reasoned opinion", the second stage of the infringement procedure laid down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty.  If there is no satisfactory reply within fifteen days, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

In addition, the Commission has decided, under Article 228 under the EC Treaty, to send a letter of formal notice asking Spain for full information on its execution of European Court judgements requiring it to transpose certain EU public procurement directives correctly under national law.

The open and transparent tendering procedures required under EU public procurement law mean more competition, stronger safeguards against corruption, and better service and value for money for taxpayers.

Spain - Law 6/1994 on town planning for the Valencia Community (LRAU)

The Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Spain under Article 226 of the EC Treaty.  In this reasoned opinion the Commission takes the view that the award of integrated action programmes (programas de acción integrada) in accordance with the LRAU comprises public works contracts and, in some cases, public services contracts and must therefore comply with the provisions of Directives 93/37/EEC (public works contracts) and 92/50/EEC (public services contracts) and the general principles of the Treaty.

These programmes are awarded by the municipalities of the Valencia Community for the performance of public infrastructure works. The Valencia Parliament (Cortes valencianas) has started a legislative procedure to amend the LRAU and to bring it in line with the Directives in question.

The Commission notes that the Spanish authorities have not complied with the warning and that the draft legislation communicated to the Commission is not enough to put an end to the infringement in several respects.  In particular, there is no provision in the draft legislation for a suitable solution for the matter of the transition period applicable to the LRAU.

Spain – Follow-up to the judgment of the Court of Justice of 13 January 2005

The Commission has decided to send a letter of formal notice to Spain under Article 228 of the EC Treaty.  In its judgment of 13 January 2005 (case C-84/03), the Court of Justice ruled that the Kingdom of Spain had failed to comply with its obligations under Directives 93/36/EEC and 93/37/EEC (public supply contracts and public works contracts, respectively) concerning the notions of awarding authority, inter-administration cooperation agreements and use of negotiated procedures in cases not covered by the Directives in question.  In order to implement this ruling, Spain approved on 11 March 2005 Royal Decree (Real Decreto-ley) No 5/2005 providing urgent reform to stimulate productivity and improve public contracts.

The Commission nevertheless takes the view that this Royal Decree has not fully met the obligations placed on the Kingdom of Spain by the ruling mentioned above, inasmuch as the scope of the Royal Decree does not coincide with the scope of the relevant provisions of Directives 93/36/EEC and 93/37/EEC.

The latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States is available at:



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