The Legal Framework of Contracting: Gender Equality, the Provision of Services, and European Public Procurement Law

Katharina Sarter

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    Abstract

    In the last decades, marketization has been a ubiquitous development in Western European Welfare States. In this context, contracting out social services has become a common phenomenon. While the impact of contracting out on working conditions has received attention in the social sciences, the legal implications brought forth by these developments are largely neglected. Addressing this gap, the article examines the legal framework of public contracting in the European Union as provided by European public procurement law and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Starting with a
    brief characterization of the specifics of public contracting, it provides an overview of the development of European regulations. Focusing on the impact European legislation and jurisdiction have on the possibility to take into account social criteria in general as well as gender equality; it examines the legal possibilities provided by European law as well as the limits it imposes. It is argued that while European public procurement law explicitly allows for measures to foster gender equality in public tendering, European legislation and
    jurisdiction also impose limits to the range of these measures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-83
    JournalWagadu
    Volume14
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • public procurement
    • Gender equality
    • procurement law
    • Socially responsible public procurement

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