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EU asks France to open competition on procurement

Thursday March 17th, 2011

The European Commission has decided to call on France to amend its legislation so as to repeal the provision reserving certain contracts for the supply of geographical information for the Institut géographique national (IGN).

Under French law, State services or bodies must buy their large-scale reference geographical information from the IGN, the integrated geographical information system covering the entire territory of France and which comprises four geographical databases. The Commission takes the view that this requirement is at odds with EU rules on public procurement and that France should have opened up these contracts to competition, as the geographical information in question could be provided, in most cases, by other economic operators.

The Commission has sent France a reasoned opinion, the second step in the infringement procedure. If France does not comply with its obligations under EU public procurement law within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

For further information

Public procurement:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/publicprocurement/index_fr.htm

For the latest information about infringement procedures launched against the Member States:

http://ec.europa.eu/community_law/index_fr.htm

To find out more about infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/162

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