Campaigners hail "landmark" procurement ruling

EU court says authorities justified in setting green requirements in "Helsinki bus" case

Environmental campaigners have hailed a European court decision supporting Helsinki city authority's purchase of a fleet of low-pollution buses as a "landmark" development in their efforts to green EU public procurement law. A coalition of 13 groups is now calling for a rewrite of draft new procurement rules to take account of the judgement.

In a ruling delivered today, the court said that Helsinki was justified under EU law when it included the buses' emission profile in the criteria determining its choice from a range offered by prospective contractors. EU legislation states that authorities must accept the "economically most advantageous" tender, often taken to be the cheapest.

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