The European public contracts directive (2004/18/EC) applies to public authorities including, amongst others, government departments, local authorities and NHS Authorities and Trusts. The European utilities contracts directive (2004/17/EC) applies to certain utility companies operating in the Energy, Water, and Transport sectors.
Under government guidelines (directed by Europe) there are certain thresholds that apply, and that make procurement exercise “under OJEU” or “Over OJEU” thresholds and this dictates what process, timescales and transparency has to happen
So in short they are very important.
Here’s the details of the actual values applying from 1st January 2014 are given below. Thresholds are net of VAT. (The figures below are for “Other public sector contracting authorities”
So double check the values of your tenders and ensure that the correct process is being followed!