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Parliamentary question - E-000023/2023Parliamentary question

Public procurement and decent work: a cautionary tale involving the dumping of interpretation services

Question for written answer  E-000023/2023
to the Commission
Rule 138
Marianne Vind (S&D)

According to the Commission, it aims to ‘encourage public buyers to use public procurement to achieve positive social and ethical impact’.

The current EU public procurement rules are not sufficient to achieve this objective, as clearly demonstrated by the UNI Europa report entitled ‘Put your money where your mouth is – Why and how the EU needs to change its public spending policies to promote a social Europe’[1].

The report reveals how several authorities in Denmark awarded all their interpretation services to a new, cheaper tenderer. The company subsequently made working conditions far less favourable by, among other things, reducing rates. Many of the most qualified interpreters refused to accept the new terms. This led to a lack of interpretation services for courts and prisons, prompting an uproar from judges, lawyers and doctors. The company ultimately had to withdraw from the contract, as it was unable to meet the demand.

Submitted: 9.1.2023

Last updated: 16 January 2023
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