New procurement instrument for expertise and capacity to support citizen engagement in policymaking

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Submitted by Ventseslav KOZAREV on

New procurement instrument for expertise and capacity to support citizen engagement in policymaking

On 19 July 2023 the European Commission, Directorate-General for Communication (COMM), published in the Official Journal a new Call to Participate in a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) targeting expertise and capacity to support its growing needs to engage citizens in policy-making. All economic operators capable of delivering services underpinning participatory processes are invited to submit request to participate.

The DPS is split into four different categories:

  1. Pan-European or Multinational Participatory and Deliberative Processes
  2. Selection of Participants
  3. Design and Facilitation of Participatory and Deliberative Processes
  4. Digital Platform Setup, Moderation and Analysis


These would be of particular interest to organisations and companies with prior experience in planning, designing and implementing various participatory and deliberative formats; entities skilled in stratified sampling for the random selection of participants from across Europe for Commission-led participatory exercises of various scale; as well as entities experienced with the setup, moderation and analysis of digital participatory platforms.

A DPS is a two-stage procurement procedure, which remains open to new entrants throughout its lifetime. First, interested candidates need to apply for admission to the DPS, by submitting an application online on the Mercell platform. Admission decision is based on an evaluation of selection criteria, ensuring only those who possess the required capacities and expertise would be allowed into the DPS.

When services are needed, all admitted participants into the DPS will be invited to submit tenders to a mini-competition detailing the scope of the services needed and the category concerned. Participants in the DPS are free to choose whether to respond by submitting a tender, indicating their interest in the scope and nature of the service, as well as their capacity to deliver those services as required. Tender submissions are evaluated and ranked on the basis of award criteria, which are specific to each mini-competition and are designed to ensure that the best offer would have the highest chance to proceed to contracting.

The DPS does not include any services related to event management and logistics. Therefore, participants awarded contracts under a mini-competition may be expected to coordinate the delivery of their services with an event manager appointed by the Commission.

The first mini-competitions could be launched already in the autumn 2023, notably with regard to the possible organisation of European Citizen Panels.

About the Author
Ventseslav Kozarev is a Policy Analyst at the Joint Research Centre. He is part of the team behind the European Commission's Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy.