Experts from Transparency Serbia and the Center for Applied European Studies evaluate the implementation of the new Public Procurement Law in the new prEUgovor policy paper, highlight the key problems and offer recommendations to solve them.

Main Problems of Public Procurement in Serbia in The Context Of New Legal Solutions and European Integration

One of the most important areas of European integration is the one related to public procurements and public-private partnerships. Although Serbia-EU negotiations in Chapter 5 are opened among the first, at a time when the relevant regulations have already been significantly harmonized with the Union's, the current state of negotiations is far from desired. Year after year, the European Commission repeats the same key recommendations, noting not only omissions and delays, as can often be found in other negotiating chapters, but also on actions that constitute an open violation of the principles of competition and equal treatment in concluding the most valuable deals. In addition, “public procurements” are treated as one of the eight “most risky” areas for corruption in the Action Plan for Chapter 23.

The new Law on Public Procurement has been in force since July 1 2020, so enough time has passed to analyze its effects in the most critical areas. It is also an opportunity to see to what extent legal norms and existing action plans have contributed to both positive changes and negative trends in these fields.  

This document, prepared by members of the prEUgovor coalition, transparency Serbia and the Center for Applied European Studies, discusses public procurements:

  • through the prism of priority issues highlighted by the European Commission in its reports;
  • in connection with securing competition in public procurement procedures;
  • by looking how transparent public procurements are;
  • through analysis of the monitoring, oversight and audit system;  and
  • through an examination of the mechanisms for punishing abuses and their (non-) application in practice.

In the end, the most important recommendations to address the problems we pointed out are for the new Government of Serbia and the new convocation of the Parliament and the EU.

The publication is published as part of the project PrEUgovor for Rule of Law and EU integration of Serbia supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade. Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the abovementioned donors or its partners.