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Commission acts to ensure implementation of defence procurement Directive

Friday March 23rd, 2012

The European Commission has acted to ensure that two Member States (Bulgaria and Luxembourg) comply with their obligations to implement EU rules on defence procurement.

The Commission is concerned that they have failed to fulfil their commitments under the Directive regarding procurement of arms, munitions and war material (and related works and services) for defence purposes, and also the procurement of sensitive supplies, works and services for security purposes.

If the Directive is not fully implemented in all Member States, companies and taxpayers alike cannot reap the benefits of easier access to a transparent and open – hence more competitive – defence market.

These rules are tailored to the specificities of defence and security equipment and markets (Directive 2009/81/EC).

Procurement of non-sensitive and non-military equipment, works and services by contracting authorities in the fields of defence and security is covered by the general public procurement Directive 2004/18/EC.

The deadline for implementing the defence Directive was August 2011. While the majority of the Member States have either fully implemented the Directive or are finalising the adoption of transposing measures, in these two Member States – Bulgaria and Luxembourg – all of the Directive’s provisions still have to be implemented and the transposition process is very slow.

The Commission’s request to Bulgaria and Luxembourg takes the form of a reasoned opinion. If the national authorities do not reply satisfactorily within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice and ask for the payment of financial penalties.

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