European Commission takes action to open up international procurement markets

The European Commission has today presented a revised proposal for an International Procurement Instrument – a tool to promote open access for EU companies to public procurement markets around the world. Commenting on the revised proposal, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “I firmly believe that an open international trading system needs to include public procurement. Openness is good for business, good for consumers, and leads to an efficient use of taxpayers’ money. It also helps in the fight against corruption. This new proposal will give us the means to show that we are committed to opening up procurement markets globally.” Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Government procurement around the world represents a huge market. We want EU companies to be able to tap into this market outside the EU just as companies from outside the EU are able to benefit from our market. What we are doing today will open doors for our businesses and allow them to compete on an equal footing.”While the EU is an open economy, many of the EU’s major trading partners apply restrictive practices which discriminate against EU businesses. Once adopted by the Council, the new instrument presented today, would allow the Commission to initiate public investigations in cases of alleged discrimination of EU companies in procurement markets. A full press release in EN, FR, DE with more background information on the new instrument is available online.