Study - Optimising environmental permitting procedures to enhance EU competitiveness and enable an effective green transition

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The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is planning to launch a procurement procedure for a study on Optimising environmental permitting procedures to enhance EU competitiveness and enable an effective green transition.

WHAT IS THIS PUBLICITY ABOUT?

This announcement is made pursuant to Annex I.14 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, to award a low value contract for a study as a result of a negotiated procurement procedure. It is published ahead of the procurement procedure with basic information on the subject matter of the contract, to give economic operators the possibility to express interest in participating as tenderers in the subsequent procurement procedure.

Please note that this announcement is a revised version of the previous announcement for a similar study, with an adapted scope for the tasks.

DESCRIPTION

At present, there is a lack of systematic thinking about competitiveness at European level. Businesses are struggling under the weight of new legislation that primarily pursues objectives unrelated to improving competitiveness and that adds to the excessive cumulative burden imposed on them in recent years[1]. Environmental permitting procedures are a significant part of the problem.

Today, environmental permitting procedures take far too long and often end with an outcome which is not only detrimental to the company in question, but also has negative effects for the whole economy and for the EU's green transition. In fact, unrealistic targets and detailed requirements imposed by both EU and national regulations often paradoxically impede the pace of the green transition, rather than accelerating it.

Sometimes it is due to complex rules, often, to slow procedures with too many administrations involved at different levels, and, in other cases, to the fact that permitting authorities are not adequately staffed and/or lack sufficient digital resources to process applications efficiently. All this means that projects are delayed for far too long, with permitting costs adding to development costs and risks, deterring investors and preventing the EU from achieving ambitious climate targets.

The European Commission's recent proposals, the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) and the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) contain a number of measures to improve the framework conditions for the production of net zero technologies, including a simplified regulatory environment with, for example, faster permitting procedures and one-stop administrative shops.

It is crucial not to limit these improvements to net-zero technologies, but to make them the standard for all sectors of the economy.

Purpose of the study and main tasks to be performed

The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of the challenges that companies in the European Union encounter when obtaining environmental permits and how these difficulties impact the EU's economic competitiveness, as well as its green and digital transitions.

The study should build on the assessment of case studies of companies, through interviews with business representatives and open sources in at least five different EU countries, as well as a quantitative analysis of the costs associated with permit applications. It should also analyse how different environmental permitting processes lead to different outcomes, such as the number of permits issued and the types of permits issued. It is, for instance, important to give examples where environmental permitting procedures are excessively time-consuming and where the outcome is unjustifiably unbalanced.

The results of the study are planned to be used as a basis for EU actions that could shape the future and improve the EU's competitiveness in the coming decade, as well as contribute to the ongoing debate on ensuring simplified and fast-track permitting under the Net-Zero Industry Act and the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) of the Green Deal Industrial Plan and any related future initiatives.

Languages/geographical area

The study should be conducted in English. As a minimum, it should cover five countries, including Sweden.

Indicative timeline

  1. Launch of the invitation to tender: September/October 2023.
  2. Contract award: 4th quarter 2023.
  3. The final study report is expected within 6 months following the signature of the contract.
  4. Deadline for submission of tenders: approximately November 2023.

WHO MAY EXPRESS INTEREST TO BE INVITED IN THE SUBSEQUENT CALL FOR TENDERS?

Participation is open on equal terms to all natural and legal persons established in the European Union (EU) or in a third country which has a special agreement with the EU in the field of public procurement, under the conditions laid down in that agreement. This includes:

  • All EU Member States;
  • Parties to special international agreements with the EU in the field of public procurement:
    • European Economic Area agreement (EEA): Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein;
    • Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAA): North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

HOW TO EXPRESS INTEREST?

Entities established in a country that has access to the procurement procedure can express interest in participating in the planned call for tenders by filling in and submitting the contact form (see link at the bottom of this page). It is possible to express interest as an individual organisation or a consortium.

DATA PROTECTION

By submitting your contact details, you consent to the EESC processing this personal data in line with this Privacy Statement. To access, change or delete your data at any moment, please contact the data controller by sending an email to studies-eescateesc [dot] europa [dot] eu.

DISCLAIMER

Please note that this announcement does not create any obligation for the EESC to launch a procurement procedure. The EESC will take the submitted information into account only to identify potential candidates. Expressing interest to participate in this type of negotiated procedure does not create any legal right or legitimate expectation on the part of any economic operator, and the EESC has the right to cancel the procedure at any time. The documents of the actual call for tenders (invitation letter, tender specifications and draft contract) will only be provided to the identified candidates when the procedure is launched, and any tender received from a legal or natural person not invited to tender will be rejected.

Contact

Expressions of interest in participating or requests for further information should be sent via the following contact form: 

Deadline

Wednesday, september 27, 2023 - 17:00