Interview with Valentina Schippers-Opejko: sharing of knowledge and expertise helps European cities to work more efficiently

Valentina Schippers-Opejko is one the Coordinators of the Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement Partnership from the City of Haarlem, the Netherlands. 


See the interview video with Valentina: 


Hello Valentina, could you introduce yourself and your city?

My name is Valentina Schippers-Opejko. I already work almost 20 years for the City of Haarlem. In my carrier, I worked in different domains – social, physical and economic. In my work as a Coordinator of the Partnership, I use this experience. Public Procurement is a strategic tool to solve different environmental, social and economic challenges. The institution I am representing is the City of Haarlem. The City of Haarlem is a midsize city which is open to innovation. The procurement strategy of the City of Haarlem contains important components like SROI (Social Return on Investment) which helps to solve social problems, environmental and circular components and also circular procurement.


Why did Haarlem decide to join?

The City of Haarlem has decided to coordinate the Urban Agenda Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement Partnership because it believes that sharing of knowledge and expertise helps European cities to work more efficiently and to achieve goals.


What is the Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement Partnership about? Who are the actors involved?


How is the Partnership work organized?

From the start, our Partnership worked in three working groups to produce the Scoping fiches. During our meeting of 26 February, we identified the seven most important actions. Since February 2018 we are working on Action Implementation Plans. Each action has its own action team.

The phases are:

  • October 2017: Orientation Paper: finished
  • February 2018: Scoping Fiches: finished
  • February 2018 – April 2018: Action Implementation Plans: in process
  • May 2018: Draft Action Plan
  • June-July 2018: Public Consultation
  • September 2018: Presentation of the action plan in DG meeting


What are the main obstacles and common ground you have encountered in your discussions?

The mood in the Partnership is positive. The members of the Partnership put a lot of effort into their work and have a good motivation.


How do you reach out to cities outside of your Partnership?

We reach out to cities outside of our Partnership by participating in coordinator meetings, network sessions and also in the following events:

For more Public Procurement events, visit Futurium and follow the Urban Agenda for the EU Twitter account.


What is coming up? What should we expect from your Partnership?


  • 26 March: email draft action implementation plan to all member of the Partnership
  • 26 March - 6 April: feedback from other action teams
  • 9-18 April: implement feedback in action implementation plans
  • 23 April: email last versions of action implementation plans
  • 7 May: email draft Action Plan to the members of the Partnership Innovative Public Procurement
  • 22 May: final versions of the action implementation plans are ready
  • 31 May: summary of the action plan is translated into the main European languages
  • 31 May: final draft action plan is ready

Next Partnership meetings:

  • 24 September
  • 26 November

Participation in events:

In addition, on 29 May 2018, the Partnership is organising the study visit in Vantaa, Finland, and in June a conference in Cork, Ireland.


Stay tuned and follow the Public Procurement Partnership!

public procurement Haarlem interview Coordinator Valentina Schippers-Opejko Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement