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The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport

Local authorities in the Netherlands struggle with administrative burdens due to the obligation to adhere to EU procurement rules when procuring social care and youth care.

In the view of the government of the Netherlands, social care and youth care rarely have a national market, let alone an European market. These services lack a cross-border dimension. This contradicts with the aim of the EU procurement directive. Furthermore the Dutch government notes the difficulty for local authorities to fulfil its care mission when social services, which are of a strongly personal nature, are obligated to be procured on a European level.


Submitting a bottleneck to the REFIT Platform

At the moment, no regular evaluation or public consultation on the EU procurement directive is planned or announced. However, during a legislative hiatus, it is possible for stakeholders and member states to submit their regulatory issue’s to the REFIT Platform. The Dutch government therefore decided to use this Better Regulation input opportunity to submit the above mentioned issue concerning the EU procurement directive and provision of social services.

After the submission of the issue to the REFIT Platform, the members of the Platform discussed this issue and drafted an opinion. The opinion which the Platform adopted acknowledges the difficulty concerning the provision of social and youth care and the EU procurement directive. Furthermore, the opinion recommends to consider the possibility of excluding social services that have no real cross-border dimension from the effect of the EU procurement directive.