Article 3


Covid-19 – the impetus for public service innovation. Advancing the shift towards social procurement


  • Natalia Spataru – [email protected]
    Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher, recruited by the SAPIENS Network – an Innovative Training Network financed by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Sklodowska Programme. She pursues a PhD programme at the University of Birmingham and conducts her research on the procurement chapters of third-generation Free Trade Agreements as new instruments to further sustainability in procurement in their economic and political contexts. Ms Spataru is specialized in European Union law and international cooperation. Throughout the course of her career and education she has engaged with EU legal matters, cross-border procurement practices and international aid instruments.
  • Lorenzo Cioni – [email protected]
    Studied Law at Università degli Studi di Torino, where he graduated in 2020. Immediately after he started his literary production. Among his most recent works emerge ‘I criteri ambientali minimi sono una causa di esclusione?’ (2020) Giurisprudenza italiana 2237; ‘Consequences of Software Malfunctioning in E-Procurement – The Highest Italian Administrative Court Applies the Proportionality Principle’ (2020) European Procurement & Public Private Partnership Law Review 310; ‘La Corte di Giustizia dell’Unione Europea conferma le norme proconcorrenziali in materia di concessioni autostradali’ (2021) Urbanistica e Appalti 187.


With the present and future being shaped by the Coronavirus disease and worldwide responses to it, critical insights are essential. The Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly influenced the lives of most people on the plane as well as the global market, some experts believing it has caused the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. The pandemic found States unprepared to face the challenges brought by it, it has exposed the vulnerabilities of individuals, societies and economies. A few months after the sparking of the first wave of Covid-19 it was possible to assess the earliest public intervention and to foresee how the virus is going to impact economic and social systems. Given the significant increase in public expenditure since the beginning of the pandemic, this Article will articulate and explore the role of public procurement in anticipating the risk of market failure, despite the complicated environment. Likewise, focus will be drawn upon the EU soft law instruments designed to respond to economic and public health issues, through the prism of solidarity. The Article will then focus on the analysis of the Italian response to the pandemic through public purchasing techniques.


Public procurement; Covid-19 pandemic; Italy, European Union Commission; service innovation.



Spataru, N. & Cioni, L. (2021). Covid-19 – the impetus for public service innovation. Advancing the shift towards social procurement, European Journal of Public Procurement Markets, 3(3), 47-58.