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Opening public procurement to SMEs

29 November 2007, 16:36 CET
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The public procurement market in the EU – covering all levels of government and public agencies – is estimated to be worth around one-sixth of total GDP in the EU. This represents a huge market, and one from which Europe’s SMEs ought to be deriving a significant share. Yet although SMEs are not specifically excluded, the procedures and practices used in many tenders have the effect of disadvantaging SMEs over larger competitors. This situation is expected to improve with the ongoing implementation by Member States of the 2004 Directives reforming public procurement rules. The European Commission is further contributing to the process by pooling Member States and stimulating the exchange and dissemination of SME friendly practices.

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