EU public procurement closed to competition
Two recent studies conclude that liberalisation of
the EU public procurement market has had little effect. Big public
purchasers such as government ministries and local authorities
still favour domestic suppliers over EU competitors.
The public procurement Directives adopted between
1988 and 1993 were intended to encourage such purchasers to shop
around among suppliers from all the Member States when putting
large contracts out to tender. The public procurement market
accounts for 11% of the EU's GDP. By 1996, only 2% of office
furniture suppliers and high-tech product suppliers had won
additional business in other EU States.
There are suggestions of reforms which would allow
the Commission to intervene where it thinks laws are not being
obeyed. The studies conclude that current legal remedies appear