Elisabetta Manunza is professor of International and European Public Procurement Law, Europa Institute, Utrecht University's School of Law, Faculty Law, Economics and Governance.

She is the co-founder and co-director of the Utrecht University Centre for Public Procurement . The Centre is a joint effort of the Utrecht University School of Law and the School of Economics of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. Its aim is to contribute to an improvement of the utilisation, regulation, promotion, social and sustainable use of public procurement.

She is also the co-founder and co-lead of the IOS Platform 'The Transactional State as an Institution for Good'. 

Focus area 

At present the focus in her research is on the role of public procurement as an expression of the rule of law and on how to design a coherent, consistent and 'constitutionally' effective public procurament legal system.

More in general she focuses on the question how to improve the innovation, utilization, just, (multi-dimensional) sustainable and social use of public procurement by making objective, efficient, just and lawful choices. Examples include: choosing rationally and objective between in- and out-sourcing (including the externalisation of public tasks); military equipment v. national security; legal and economic aspects of awards criteria and methods; innovative organizational structures for social services (of general interests); social and inclusive commissioning; innovative methods to combat the infiltration of organised crime in public procurement; how to enhance democracy, integrity and the rule of law in public procurement law.

She supervises two major research projects.

(I) The first one focuses on the question how to safeguard national security in critical infrastructure and aims at effectively incorporating security risks into military procurement specifically as well as procurement of security organisations, governments, and essential facilities in general. It consists of two different themes:

(I.1) Military (Defense) Equipment v. National Security  which consists of two PhD project: (1a) Sovereignty and Interdependance in EU military Procurement Regulation, already successfully defended in June 2023; (1b) The Boundaries of the Internal Market: Inter-European Procurement of Defence Equipment in a a National Security Context: this project is funded by the Dutch ministry of defence and it will be completed in 2024.

(I.2) Towards a Security-Proof Public procurement Legal System for Dutch Contracting Authorities This last project has started in April 2023 and it is funded by the Dutch National Police, The Dutch ministries of Internal Affairs, of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, of Justice and Security and the Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism.

(II) the second major project is on responsible commissioning and includes the PhD-project Social Commissioning for Inclusive Cities financed by the City of Amsterdam. 

Her research involves constant engagement with the private and public sector and collaboration with economists, mathematicians and scholars with a business / public administration background and generates many commissioned interdisciplinary studies (some examples).

Results of her research

Since the early beginning of her academic career, the results of her research have been subject of Parliamentary debates, have contributed to the introduction of a legal screening system (BIBOB); have been quoted in the explanatory memorandum to national laws (in The Netherlands and in Italy as well) and in case law of the national court and of the EUCJ; led to the adoption of important motions and amendments and to two initiatives for new regulation (the last one has been proposed to the Lower Chamber of the Dutch Parliament in October 2023; the authors of the proposals made good use of Manunza 's position paper discussed in the Lower Chamber on 27 September 2023).

She holds a Ph.D.-degree in 2001 from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, for her thesis ‘Problems of EC Public Procurement Law in case of privatisation and the fight against corruption and organised crime’.

In 2002 her (NWO Veni) research project ‘Questioning the Fundamental Legal and Economic Presuppositions and Principles Underlying the EC Public Procurement Directives’ was rated ‘excellent and innovational’ by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and she was awarded  a NWO Veni grant (250.000 euro).

For more information see the UUCePP website. 

International and European Public Procurement Law
Inaugural lecture date