The exceptional nature of the economic and social situation due to the COVID-19 crisis requires exceptional measures to support the recovery and resilience of the economies of Member States.
The role of public contracts, particularly in connection with the ecological transition and the technological innovation, is increasingly relevant due to the implementation of the Recovery Fund at EU and national level: indeed, the EU funds allocated to each Member State will be distributed through public tenders and a major role will be played by the simplification of procedures (the 'bureaucratic transition').
In light of the above, the Observatory is currently involved in three main strands of research:
1. Infrastructure, simplification and competition: to implement the Recovery Plan, it will be of essence to devise solutions and tools to speed up the procedures for awarding public contracts and to facilitate the completion of public works to meet the strict deadlines imposed by the European Union. At the same time, it will be necessary to comply with the European obligations to increase competition in a number of regulated sectors (transport, energy, telecommunications).
2. Decarbonisation and hydrogen: in the next six years, our country will have to triple the production of electricity from renewable sources, focusing on innovative solutions and the simplification of procedures.
3. Public procurement in healthcare: The COVID-19 crisis has presented Europe with a challenge of historic proportions: healthcare spending has grown exponentially, reaching a sum of approximately 123 thousand million euros in 2020 (equal to about 7.5% of GDP and with an increase of 6.7% compared to 2019). The Covid-19 crisis has thus elected the healthcare procurement as a laboratory where to experiment simplification and speed-up of public tenders, and the role and effectiveness of the Central Purchasing Bodies is increasingly under the spot.