European Commission - Enterprise and Industry

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Encourage access to public procurement for SMEs Published on: 06/01/2012, Last update: 21/08/2013

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The proposed reform aims to thoroughly modernise the existing tools and instruments on public tendering. Access to public procurement for SMEs will be increased and made easier by cutting administrative burden. There will also be strong incentives to divide tenders into lots and limit the financial capacity requirements for tenders.

Each year, the public authorities spend 18% of GDP on goods, services and works. Given the current budgetary restrictions and economic difficulties in most Member States, public procurement policy must, more than ever, ensure the optimal use of funds in order foster growth and job creation and thereby help to achieve the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The revision of the public procurement Directives announced by the Commission today is part of an overall programme to thoroughly modernise public tendering in the European Union. This programme also includes a Directive on concessions, which until now have been only partially regulated at European level and present specific features which justify a separate text, while maintaining consistency with the general reform.

The reform of legislation on public procurement is one of the twelve priority actions set out in the Single Market Act adopted in April 2011 (IP/11/469). Indeed, the efficiency of public tendering has become a priority for all Member States, in view of the current budgetary constraints. We therefore need flexible, simple instruments which allow public authorities and their suppliers to conclude transparent, competitive contracts as easily as possible and at the best value for money.

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