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24 June 2021

Democracy and Governance Practice Retreat 2021: in Crisis and Beyond

Organisation: Open Governance Network for Europe, Open Contracting Partnership. Location: 4:00pm CEST

Source: Democracy and governance practice retreat

Public procurement is a powerful tool for achieving social impact and is key to countries’ performance, especially amid crises. During the COVID-19 pandemic procurement was key to buy life-saving medicines and to expand opportunities for small and medium businesses devastated by lockdowns. Yet, governments do not realize the full potential procurement, and rather defer to it as a risk-averse tool to buy as cheaply as possible.

As part of the Democracy and Governance Practice Retreat 2021: in Crisis and Beyond, we are organizing a session to explore how governments can better leverage procurement as a public service to maximize social impact. The retreat is organized by the Open Governance Network for Europe and will take place from 21-25 June. It aims to help civil servants and civil society together learn and share new approaches to policymaking and public services that are found to help improve civic trust in governments and strengthen democracies in crisis and beyond.

Now is the time to react and reform procurement for pandemic recovery and renewal. What lessons can we draw from these mistakes? How can open approaches to procurement, through open data and accessible digital tools, help us achieve better social impact, including more competition, inclusion and sustainability? In our session, a panel of public officials from the European Commission, national governments and civil society champions will explore these questions and, working with participants, will surface some specific ideas for how to make procurement in pandemic recovery more successful for everyone. Participants will take these ideas and lessons back to their EU, national, and local contexts.

We will also introduce a newly formed pan-EU civil society Coalition Open Procurement EU that will take these ideas into account when advocating for change in the year to come.


  • European Commission
  • Government of Italy
  • Government of the UK
  • Access Info Europe
  • Open Contracting Partnership (moderator

Region: Europe

Audience: Government