EU Commission to consider new third party legislation

Friday August 12th, 2011

According to new reports, the European Commission (the Commission) is considering new legislation which will impose restrictions on non-EU companies and will set terms for their access to the EU public procurement markets.

The Commission has launched an online questionnaire and is seeking the views of stakeholders across the EU as part of its consultation.

Government procurement in the EU amounts to €2,100bn and the purchase of goods, works and services represents 19% of GDP. Through the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (the GPA) and bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), the EU has granted access to its public procurement market in relation to certain goods, services and companies in non-EU countries. Currently 13 countries outside of the EU are covered by the GPA and approximately 15 by FTAs.

However, according to the Commission, the EU has only partially exercised its power to regulate such access and a gap has appeared between what has been agreed and the actual access conditions, meaning that the EU public procurement market is de facto more open to non-EU goods, services and companies in comparison to non-EU markets.

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