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International Relations, PUBLICATIONS

International procurement instrument [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Roderick Edward Noël Harte (1st edition),

A dredging ship in action at Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE

© Sophie James / Fotolia

Over the years, the EU has opened up its public procurement markets to third countries to a large degree, yet many of these countries have not granted the EU a similar privilege. This situation has been difficult to address through multilateral or bilateral trade negotiations alone. With this in mind, the European Commission proposed the creation of an international procurement instrument in 2012. The aim of this instrument is twofold: to improve the conditions under which EU businesses can compete for public contracts in third countries and to give the EU more leverage when negotiating its access to foreign public procurement markets.

To overcome a legislative deadlock on the 2012 proposal, in 2016 the Commission submitted an amended version that would enable it to open investigations into alleged discrimination against EU parties in foreign public procurement markets. If such practices were to be confirmed, the Commission would enter into consultations with the third country concerned to obtain reciprocal concessions on its procurement market. As a last resort, the Commission would be able to impose a price penalty on tenders originating in the third country concerned, giving EU and non-targeted countries’ tenders a competitive advantage on EU procurement markets.


Amended proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the access of third-country goods and services to the Union’s internal market in public procurement and procedures supporting negotiations on access of Union goods and services to the public procurement markets of third countries
Committee responsible:


Shadow rapporteurs:






International Trade (INTA)

Daniel Caspary (EPP, Germany)

Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández (S&D, Spain)

Emma McClarkin (ECR, UK)

Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL, Germany)

Yannick Jadot (Greens/EFA, France)

Tiziana Beghin (EFDD, Italy)

COM(2016) 34 final of 29.1.2016 and COM(2012) 124 final of 23.3.2012

procedure ref.: 2012/060(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Next steps expected: Vote on draft report in committee

Stage: Committee vote

world map of GPA and EU FTA public procurement coverage 2017



  1. Pingback: International procurement instrument [EU Legislation in Progress] | - December 1, 2017

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