European Commission advisory group report published
The Standing Forestry Committee Ad Hoc Working Group IV on Public Procurement of Wood and Wood-based Products was launched in March 2009. The aim of the group was to exchange experiences between the Member States, Commission Services and stakeholders in order to achieve better compatibility between the different approaches applied in the Member States, and also support the EU FLEGT Action Plan. CPET has shared the UK approach and our experience with the implementation of the policy, with the group.
The report from the Working Group was published at the end of January 2011 and provides a good overview of the legal framework for public procurement in the EU, Member States policies, criteria addressing legality and sustainability and the types of evidence required to demonstrate compliance.
On the basis of the conclusions drawn from the meetings the Working Group proposes a number of activities for follow up. The European Commission is for example recommended to elaborate, in close co-operation with the Member States, further guidance on the various means of proof and to strive for consistency in the use of definitions and criteria and indicators in the various policies in support of sustainable forest management.
In the context of implementing, improving and extending wood procurement policies the Working Group invites the Standing Forestry Committee and the Member States also to continue the exchange of experiences and frequently update between member states, including their designated centres of expertise, in order to reach better comparability of wood procurement schemes and to give advice to Member States e.g. through a Standing Forestry Committee expert group. Further guidance, e.g. input for developing procurement policies in other countries and procurement model texts, could be elaborated through such a process.
To foster monitoring and coherence in wood procurement, the Working Group also recommends the Standing Forestry Committee and the Member States to launch a pilot project initiative which will provide an integrated and common approach on the implementation of different countries’ wood procurement policies.
The next step is now for the Standing Forestry Committee to adopt the report content, including conclusions and recommendations, and feed it into the ongoing process of evaluating EU procurement legislation and policy as well as to consider relevant future steps to facilitate the procurement of sustainably produced wood and wood-based products.
CPET will follow the process and continue to work closely with other Member States policy leads and technical support. The ‘National Policies’ section on the CPET website has been updated with reference to the Working Group’s report and also provides the overview of the types of evidence required to demonstrate compliance.
The Public Procurement of Wood and Wood-based Products. Report to the Standing Forestry Committee. By the Standing Forestry Committee Ad Hoc Working Group IV on Public Procurement of Wood and Wood-based Products (December 2010) is available for download here.