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Public procurement reform16th of March 2011
The European Commission is to overhaul the rules governing public procurement in order to improve SMEs' access to national tenders, reduce red tape and boost cross-border activity.
SMEs currently have access to around one-third of all public contracts but this share is still much lower than their economic and social importance.
Promoting cross-border procurement is also high on the agenda. A Commission report on the functioning of EU public procurement markets showed a clear majority (67 per cent) of total bids for public tenders comes from domestic firms.
The Commission will also try to review rules, to make public contracts 'greener' and more supportive of innovation.