In the final compromise text of 12 July 2013 for a new Directive on Public Procurement (available here), the principle of competition is clearly reinstated (see my advocacy for this here) and bound to be clearly and expressly recognised in Article 15 on 'Principles of Procurement'.
In the very clear drafting, the new rules are bound to clarify that:
The design of the procurement shall not be made with the intention of excluding it from the scope of this Directive or of artificially narrowing competition. Competition shall be considered to be artificially narrowed where the design of the procurement was made with the intention of unduly favouring or disadvantaging certain economic operators (emphasis added).
It will now be without doubt that market integration in procurement must go hand in hand with promoting and protecting effective competition for public contracts, and that the new rules are ultimately based on this general principle of EU Law already explicitly recognised in the public procurement case law and, more timidly, in its regulation [Sanchez Graells (2009) 'The Principle of Competition Embedded in EC Public Procurement Directives').
This will strengthen the push towards a more competition-oriented public procurement system and, in my view, will boost some of the interpretative proposals that seek to maximise participation in procurement and to minimise the anticompetitive effects of the activities of the public buyer [for my fully-detailed proposals, see Sanchez Graells (2011), Public Procurement and the EU Competition Rules, Hart Publishing].
It is definitely a most welcome development in EU public procurement rules!