Debriefing in EU Public Procurement Law: A Critical Enquiry

Electronic versions


  • Chufan Yang

    Research areas

  • public procurement, EU law, integrity, fairness, economic efficiency, transparency, confidentiality, good administration, effectiveness, competition, collusion, PhD


The thesis analyses transparency and competition in the procurement process using interdisciplinary studies in diverse fields of the European Union (EU) legal framework for systematic coherence and economic theories and models. The thesis views debriefing as an ideal device for observing those tensions. The main question that this thesis addresses is whether debriefing enhances the effectiveness of the EU public procurement system? The EU Parliament and Council’s 2014 public procurement package devoted to increasing transparency throughout procedures for higher efficiency and effectiveness and accordingly debriefing is a process meant to lead towards a fair, transparent, and efficient public procurement system. Debriefing is a procurement process designed to provide participants with access to a review of the contract award decision or the way to apply for effective remedies before a contract concludes. There is, however, a consensus that the EU Parliament and Council’s 2014 public procurement package has endorsed debriefing with overload transparency compliance by the PSD while producing adverse effects on fairness competition. In view of that, this thesis provides a critical enquiry into debriefing by investigating EU public procurement, administrative procedure, competition, and data protection law.

In the dealing with those tensions, thesis takes an objective-oriented approach by designing a specialised coordinate system to observe three objectives for regulating debriefing – integrity, fairness, and economic efficiency. This thesis identifies these objectives by exploring the legal effectiveness of the PSD and the RD where debriefing placed in and explains their concept by breaking them down into elements, components, and criteria for measurement for further discussion. Align to these objectives, its investigation into economic theories behind debriefing, such as the game, social welfare, auction, and oligopoly, is necessary to develop a combination of economic positivism and legal positivism analysis. In view of this, the thesis explains the principal-agency problem a priori detrimental to integrity for a public procurement system, measures the social cost of the procedure in reducing the cost of error and in enforcing substantive rules and, furthermore, forewarns the risk of collusive oligopoly when market players strategically use debriefing for repeated coordination. In addition, this thesis provides that coordinate system by empowering interdisciplinary studies, including the regulatory debriefing integrating the integrity tools of transparency and a monitoring system, a uniform judgement system for developing procedural rights such as of the rights to good administration and effective remedies in debriefing, the role of the principle of fairness connecting and formulating the data subject rights, confidentiality and trade secrets, the drawbacks of the principle of competition in controlling debriefing and the effectiveness of behavioural competition instruments. These are the main areas of focus for this thesis, which explores how they have and should been managed by using EU legal instruments, such as general principles, fundamental rights, and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)’s precedents.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Thesis sponsors
  • Chinese Scholarship Council
Award date1 Aug 2023