On 15 September 2022, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on the question whether competing tenders submitted by group companies may be excluded from public procurement procedures even absent a violation of Article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) due to the “group privilege” (Case C-416/21).

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On 1 July 2022, the European Parliament and the Council have reached a political agreement on the proposed Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market (FSR). This marks a decisive step towards the formal adoption of the FSR later this year. The FSR will provide the Commission with a new tool to investigate subsidies granted by non-EU governments out of its own motion but will also subject recipients of foreign subsidies to a parallel merger clearance procedure and to special review in public procurement procedures.

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BLOMSTEIN advises Brazilian cattle and beef sector representative, Instituto Mato-Grossense da Carne, on EU’s ESG regulatory framework.

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On 21 of June 2022, the German Federal Cabinet submitted to the Bundestag a draft for a Bundeswehr Procurement Acceleration Act (BwBBG-E). The scope of the proposed act covers all procurement initiatives for the supply of military equipment that serve to “directly strengthen the operational capability of the Bundeswehr” within the meaning of Section 104 (2) of the Competition Act (GWB) with a contract value reaching the applicable threshold. It is to be limited in time until 31 of December 2025 and will also apply to procurement procedures that have already begun at the time of entry into force.

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Starting on 1st of June 2022, contracting authorities are obliged to consult the Competition Register to determine whether one of the bidders in a public procurement procedure is listed in the Register. Although the contracting authorities will continue to decide on the outcome, i.e., whether to exclude such bidder or not based on an exclusion ground, listings in the competition register will have a considerable indicative effect.

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to a rethink in Germany. Suddenly, extensive funds are to be made available with which the urgently needed equipping of the German Armed Forces can finally be realised. The equipment is now to be provided as quickly as possible. The first procurement actions have already been initiated.

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Roland M. Stein was one of the speakers of the webinar: The Importance of Compliance Programs in World Bank Projects, hosted by the Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Basic Industries (ABDIB) on 26 July 2021. The panel also had as key speaker Lisa Miller, Integrity Compliance Officer at The World Bank and as a mediator Thiago Jabor Pinheiro, partner at the Brazilian law firm Mattos Filho.

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The World Bank has published the first consultative resource on exclusion systems, giving insights about how different jurisdictions worldwide employ exclusion mechanisms to prevent certain suppliers from accessing public funds. “The Global Suspension & Debarment Directory” is based on the 2020 Global Suspension & Debarment Survey and the input of numerous experts. BLOMSTEIN Counsel Florian Wolf has contributed to the chapter on Germany.

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On 25 May 2021, the webinar on exclusions and debarments presented in Europe by the Debarment and Exclusions Subcommittee of the International Bar Association (IBA) took place. The webinar was moderated by BLOMSTEIN partner Roland M. Stein. A recording of the virtual event is online now.

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Blomstein has advised the Allianz for Development and Climate Foundation on a procurement procedure for the selection of an asset manager. The foundation conducted a competitive selection procedure. In accordance with its foundation philosophy, it placed a special focus on sustainable investment strategies and the integration of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) investment criteria.

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