Article 3


The Concept of Economic Operator and the Setting of Limitations to Awarding by Lots in Public Procurement in the Light of the Portuguese Public Contracts Code


  • Nuno Cunha Rodrigues – [email protected]
    Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, Portugal where he earned his PhD in legal and economic sciences, his master’s degree and completed his graduation in law. He is the current Vice-President of the European Institute and a member of the Board of the IDEFF (Research Center for Economic, Financial and Tax Law). Furthermore he is a lawyer and non-executive diretor of the biggest Portuguese bank (Caixa Geral de Depósitos). Has published several articles and books in his area of expertise (EU Law, Economic Law, Competition Law, Public Procurement and Public Finance). Nuno Cunha Rodrigues holds a Jean Monnet Chair, granted by the European Commission, since 2018.


According to the EU 2014 directives, the contracting authority should divide into lots – or to justify not doing so. Furthermore, it may decide (i) to limit the number of lots to which each economic operator may submit tenders; (ii) to limit the maximum number of lots to be awarded per economic operator, or (iii) to aggregate all or part of the lots.
In view of the limitation on the number of lots for which tenders may be submitted or the maximum number of lots to be awarded per competitor – either limitation to be determined in advance at the contracting authority’s discretion – the article addresses the question of whether albeit legally distinct competitors that maintain an economic unit or interdependent links may submit bids for different lots or groups of lots in the same procedure.


Lotting; competition; Portuguese Public Contracts Code; Concept of undertaking; economic operator.