The European Commission has released guidance to public buyers on how to use all the flexibilities offered by the EU public procurement framework in the emergency situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak. “COVID-19 is a health crisis that requires swift and smart solutions and agility in dealing with an immense increase of demand for similar goods and services while certain supply chains are disrupted. Public buyers in the Member States are at the forefront for most of these goods and services. They have to ensure the availability of personal protective equipment such as face masks and protective gloves, medical devices, notably ventilators, other medical supplies, but also hospital and IT infrastructure, to name only a few.
At European level, the Commission together with the Member States has already stepped up efforts by launching joint procurement actions for various medical supplies.” In this emergency situation this guidance explains which options and flexibilities are available under the EU public procurement framework for the purchase of the supplies, services, and works needed to address the crisis. Public buyers have several options they can consider, and they are laid out here.