The EU is engaged in market access negotiations to conclude bilateral trade agreements with some non-EU countries. These agreements generally include public procurement chapters. At the same time, the EU has initiated regulatory dialogues with some third countries to promote the convergence of public procurement regulation internationally.
The EU and Canada have recently negotiated a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). This agreement contains a public procurement chapter. The end of negotiations for CETA was marked by the Canada-EU summit of 26 September 2014 in Ottawa.
The EU and China have held an Annual Regulatory Dialogue on procurement issues since 2005. The last meeting took place in May 2015 in Beijing to discuss recent regulatory developments in public procurement of common interest.
China’s accession to the GPA is also regularly discussed with the Chinese authorities.
The EU launched Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with Japan on 25 March 2013. These negotiations include discussion on public procurement issues with a view to further opening both parties’ procurement markets.
Within the framework of the FTA negotiations, the Commission and the Japanese Ministry for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism have set up the EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue on Railways in 2014. The dialogue includes representatives of the private and public sectors who meet on a biannual basis. Its objective is to promote cooperation and information exchange between the participants to facilitate bilateral trade in the railway public procurement sector, to monitor mutual market developments and to facilitate the mutual recognition of safety standards. The fifth edition of the dialogue took place on 31 May 2016 in Brussels.
The Association Agreement which governs relations between the EU and Morocco aims at a reciprocal and gradual liberalisation of public procurement contracts. To upgrade this agreement, the EU and Morocco are currently negotiating a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) which may further deepen cooperation in public procurement.
Representatives from the EU and Morocco also met in Brussels on 8 April 2014 to discuss regulatory developments in public procurement. Both sides presented their regulatory systems including on e-procurement and the collection of statistics.
The EU and Russia have held a Regulatory Dialogue on public procurement related issues since 2006. The last meeting took place in October 2013 in Moscow. Recent regulatory developments, in particular for e-procurement, were discussed. The future accession of Russia to the GPA was also debated.
The Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on certain aspects of government procurement (bilateral agreement) complements EU and Swiss commitments under the GPA. The Agreement is one of seven bilateral agreements concluded between the EU and Switzerland in 1999. All these agreements are legally linked with each other.
A Joint Committee was set up in 2002 to ensure the Agreement’s implementation and operation. It serves as a forum for information exchanges and consultation, and meets once a year in Brussels or Switzerland. The EU side is led by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, while the Swiss side is led by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
The Committee last met on 17 March 2015 in Geneva to discuss recent legislative developments and issues of common interest under the GPA and the bilateral agreement.
Due to the importance of the public procurement market in Turkey and its current situation in the enlargement process, additional work is carried out with Turkey in the form of a Regulatory Dialogue.
Representatives from the EU and Turkey met on 10 June 2015 in Ankara to discuss regulatory developments in their public procurement systems and internationally. The Regulatory Dialogue had been initiated with a first meeting in September 2014, which had been followed by a meeting of the subcommittee on Internal Market and Competition on 20 March in Brussels.
In December 2011, the EU and the US created a Bilateral Forum as part of negotiations for the revised GPA. The first meeting was held in October 2012 in Washington to discuss regulatory developments in public procurement. There have been no other meetings.
The EU and the US are also currently negotiating a comprehensive trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which includes a public procurement chapter.
Many of the other FTAs that the EU has negotiated or is negotiating with non-EU countries or regions contain procurement chapters. This is the case for the following countries: