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EU public procurement, the social dimension and its building capacity

Calleja, Antoinette


Antoinette Calleja



This thesis attempts to prove how the flexible application of public procurement has the potential to realise a social model of integration in the European Union wherein the European citizen is the key actor in the integration process.

The integration dynamics of the European Union have been promoted by recourse to neoliberal economic theories where market integration features as a crucial imperative. In this respect the regulation of public procurement plays a vital role in the programme of the Single European Market. Preferential procurement alongside state aid reflects on market intervention on the part of the public sector commensurate with neo-liberal principles and less on the distributive objectives of societal welfare. However, this thesis presents a fundamental departure from such logic for it argues on the basis of a social just alternative that takes into account the distributive objectives of societal welfare albeit in a limited manner in so far public procurement contracts are concerned.

The question of poverty across the EU is put into context as its persistent levels are perceived as indicative system-failures of market regulation that are too heavily based on neo-liberal economics. On a plane of practical reasonableness the thesis argues for optimal use of public procurement as a dynamic policy instrument by institutionalising a balance both domestically and EU-wide. Such balance needs to be guided by a public interest function where the key umbrella concept that corresponds to embracing the fight against poverty namely, respect for human dignity, equality and freedom for participatory action is incorporated. As a powerful socio-economic lever public procurement should not be regarded as a barrier to EU economic growth but as a crucial safety valve at the disposal of Member States for the benefit of the EU citizen and not in the least EU integration aims.


Calleja, A. (2013). EU public procurement, the social dimension and its building capacity. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Publication Date Nov 1, 2013
Deposit Date Jul 22, 2014
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull


Thesis (33.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2013 Calleja, Antoinette. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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