Request for a preliminary ruling from the Varhoven administrativen sad (Bulgaria) lodged on 8 December 2020 – Veridos GmbH v Ministar na vatreshnite raboti na Republika Bulgaria, Mühlbauer ID Services GmbH – S&T

(Case C-669/20)

Language of the case: Bulgarian

Referring court

Varhoven administrativen sad

Parties to the main proceedings

Appellant in the appeal on a point of law: Veridos GmbH

Respondents in the appeal on a point of law: Ministar na vatreshnite raboti na Republika Bulgaria, Mühlbauer ID Services GmbH – S&T

Questions referred

Is Article 56 of Directive 2014/24/EU 1 in conjunction with Article 69 thereof, or, respectively, Article 38 of Directive 2009/81/EC 2 in conjunction with Article 49 thereof, to be interpreted as meaning that a contracting authority, where it is objectively impossible to apply the criterion laid down in national law for the evaluation of an abnormally low tender and in the absence of a different criterion selected by the contracting authority and announced in advance, is not required to verify whether an abnormally low tender exists?

Is Article 56 of Directive [2014/24] in conjunction with Article 69 thereof, or, respectively, Article 38 of Directive [2009/81] in conjunction with Article 49 thereof, to be interpreted as meaning that the contracting authority is required to verify whether abnormally low tenders exist only if there is a suspicion regarding any tender; or, conversely, is the contracting authority required to always ensure that the received tenders are genuine, and state the relevant reasons?

Does such a requirement apply to the contracting authority if only two tenders have been received during the procedure for the award of a public contract?

Is Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to be interpreted as meaning that the contracting authority’s assessment as regards a lack of suspicion that an abnormally low tender exists, or, respectively, that contracting authority’s conviction that the first-ranked tenderer has submitted a genuine tender, is subject to judicial review?

Should the previous question be answered in the affirmative: Is Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to be interpreted as meaning that a contracting authority in a procedure for the award of a public contract which has not verified whether an abnormally low tender exists is required to provide justification and reasons as to why there is no suspicion that an abnormally low tender has been submitted, in other words, that the first-ranked tender is genuine?

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1 Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC (OJ 2014 L 94, p. 65).

2 Directive 2009/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on the coordination of procedures for the award of certain works contracts, supply contracts and service contracts by contracting authorities or entities in the fields of defence and security, and amending Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC (OJ 2009 L 216, p. 76).