Local Roundtables help propel the CO-RESP project towards Socially Responsible Public Procurement
Taking another step towards fostering Socially Responsible Public Procurement (SRPP), the CO-RESP project achieved a key milestone through its recent Local Roundtables. These in-person meetings – a core part of the project – facilitated constructive dialogue among the relevant authorities and stakeholders. Most importantly, these roundtables have kickstarted the creation of local action plans, which aim to improve public procurement practices.
Across the regions covered by CO-RESP, local authorities in Dobrich (Bulgaria), Marina De Cudeyo (Spain), and Gleisdorf (Austria) – with the support of other project partners – organised several in-person Local Roundtables. These meetings brought together relevant local and regional stakeholders, such as local or regional Social Economy Organisations, enterprises, experts, and local or regional public authorities. The objectives of these Local Roundtables were to:
- Share best practices. Discussions centred around sharing good practices identified during the Social Economy Mission (another key project result).
- Collect feedback. Local and regional stakeholders, along with experts, provided valuable feedback on their needs and plans for implementing socially responsible public procurement at the local level.
Participants in these meetings received insights into both the promising practices identified within the CO-RESP project and their cities' public procurement practices based on EU law, directives, and national legislation. Feedback from participants reflected on the significance of CO-RESP in supporting local development and social inclusion, as well as in strengthening joint efforts at the local level to improve opportunities and working conditions for persons with disabilities. Furthermore, discussions emphasised the need to further enhance and rescale the skills and competencies of contracting authorities in effectively implementing SRPP principles. This could further promote interregional cooperation and maximise the use of SRPP to promote social justice, economic stability, and ecological integrity.
The feedback and key messages from these Local Roundtables will be reflected upon in each city's Local Action Plan, which are documents that provide a road map for improving the use of SRPP at the local level. Essentially, these documents aim to improve and refine public procurement practices by addressing the lessons learnt in the CO-RESP project so far.