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Observatory on Public Procurement and Sustainability

Mission and history

The Observatory on Public Procurement and Sustainability is an interdisciplinary project, whose purpose is to create a hub for analysis, discussion, and lobbing activities in the field of public procurement.

It is meant to be a reference point for operators and stakeholders in the field of public contracts, sustainability and innovation technology. Indeed, in these areas operators and stakeholders often face a particularly complex, multileveled and uncertain regulatory framework which makes it difficult for them to plan future investments and activities as well as to carry on their business activities in an efficient and productive way.

The Observatory was launched in 2011 by a group of academics, judges, lawyers, members of the Regulatory Authorities and other civil servants engaged in the study and practice of Public Procurement.
It is now reborn under the GREEN - Centre For Research on Geography, Resources, Environment, Energy & Networks, aiming to foster its interdisciplinary hallmark and relies on the partnership for specific projects with the Observatorio de la Contratación Pública of the University of Zaragoza in Spain and the Osservatorio di diritto comunitario e nazionale sugli appalti pubblici of the University of Trento.


A strategic sector

Public procurement plays an important role within the current European economic framework, accounting for around 16% of the entire EU GDP.

In the current context, due to the forthcoming approval and implementation of the Recovery Fund at EU and national level - namely, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan - the role of public contracts will become increasingly strategic. Indeed, the long-term budget funded by EU institutions - the largest stimulus package ever financed in Europe, worth a total of €1.8 trillion - will be allocated within each Member State through competitive public tenders governed by public law regulations, with a priority given to the ecological transition and technological procurements projects.
Against this framework, some specific topics such as tender procedures in the health sector (especially in light of the the Covid-19 pandemic,) and in the ecological sector have been identified as priorities for the rolling out of the Observatory’s activities.
At the same time, the Observatory could carry out focused research and study activities on a commission basis, as well as side activities such as seminars or webinars reserved to some defined and selected categories of partners wishing to further explore some specific public contract or sustainability-related matters.



The activity of the Observatory centers around three main points:

  1. monitor legislative and regulatory developments and carry out research activities (also on a client basis commission);
  2. organize practice-oriented and specialized seminars to further explore specific topics;
  3. study and investigate specific problems that are subject of debate, in order to provide support to policy makers and regulators in solving interpretative doubts and applicative uncertainties.


The Observatory will also publish policy briefs, best practices and position papers on matters of relevance.


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