A pilot initiative aims to make European Union (EU) national electronic public procurement systems compatible, to ease cross-border online tendering.
Although EU law insists that public procurement contracts are made available to suppliers from foreign member states, making such bids can involve difficult and unfamiliar paperwork.
More recently, the EU legalised electronic procurement across the EU, but technical differences between e-government systems have hampered applications.
Now, the European Commission is working with member states Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary and Italy, plus Norway (part of the EU-linked European Economic Area), in a €19 million pilot project to harmonise the systems.
EU information society commissioner Viviane Reding said: “By making sure their systems work together, member states are helping European businesses to win public sector contracts anywhere in the EU.”
If the project is successful, its lessons could be applied in all member states, helping public fleet managers receive supplier bids from across the EU.
Moreover, transport suppliers would be able to push for contracts in all 27 EU countries.