Electronic Procurement opens doors to cross-border business within the EU

The European Commission is now  making  it easier for companies, in particular Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), to bid for public sector contracts anywhere in EU, thus making  a crucial step towards  the Single European Market.

The Commission will co-finance a pilot project, driven by eight European countries, that will create the conditions to link existing national eProcurment systems. Simplifying cross-border procurement will generate savings on administrative and transaction costs and will benefit taxpayers who ultimately pay for public purchases. The project will invest more than € 19 million over three years, € 9.8 million of which will come from the European Commission's Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP).

As the Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Vivianne Reding, stated "eProcurement already allows businesses to bid for the largest buyers in the EU - governments. By making sure their systems work together, Member States are helping European businesses to win public sector contracts anywhere in the EU. This is a crucial step towards completion of the Single European Market".

The European Commission is working with Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary and Italy as well as Norway (as a member of the European Economic Area) to enable companies from one country to respond to public procurement tenders in another. The project will not replace, but rather build on, existing national eProcurement systems using information and communication technologies to enable them to communicate with each other. This would allow, for instance, a Czech or Swedish company to bid for a Spanish or Hungarian government contract as easily as for a contract in their home country.

Source: epractice.eu website May 22 2009

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