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ERIC Reaches Oxford University

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

What are the challanges and constraints facing research infrastructures incorporated as an ERIC when drafting their bespoke procurement rules? This was the topic of a presentation held by Ohad Graber-Soudry at a workshop on ‘discretion in EU public procurement law’ at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. The results of this workshop will be published next year by Hart, Studies of the Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law. 

A European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is a legal framework based on Article 187 of the TFEU. It accords EU research infrastructures the capacity to set up joint undertakings or other structures necessary for research and technological development. According to Council Regulation (EC) No 723/2009, ERICs qualify as an international organisation for the purpose of Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement, but are required to adopt their own procurement system, which must be based on the principles of transparency, non- discrimination and competition.

The European Spallation Source (ESS) is the first ERIC to adopt a comprehensive procurement system. The ESS procurement rules govern all of ESS high-volume procurement activity and, in addition to the general rules and procedures for conducting its procurement, the ESS procurement rules also provide for a dispute resolution mechanism and remedies for aggrieved bidders.

The presnetation by Ohad Graber-Soudry (and the book article that will follow) discuss the discretion, considerations and constraints that underline the ESS procurement rules, taking account of EU law, in particular the EU ERIC legal framework and the special needs of the ESS as a major European research infrastructure under construction.

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