De Jong fights in European Parliament for fair tender procedures for small firms

14 December 2012

De Jong fights in European Parliament for fair tender procedures for small firms

Next Tuesday the Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament will vote on the new European Union rules governing public procurement tendering. Amendments to these rules should make it easier for small businesses to win contracts. ‘We’re not home and hosed just yet,’ says SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong. ‘My proposals to split big contracts into smaller units appeared to have broad support but the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (PASD) are retreating on this. I’ll be putting everything into greatly improving the procurement rules with this vote.’

Negotiations on the public procurement rules have been going on for months between the different political groups in the European Parliament. During these negotiations the SP has not only proposed the splitting of large tenders, as De Jong explains: 'Perhaps just as important is our proposal that the often mandatory “annual turnover demand” should no longer be a standard requirement. For small building firms in particular this can work against their interests, which means they can miss out on contracts which in these economically difficult times may be extremely important.’ The SP wants to see an annual turnover demand only in exceptional cases where annual turnover must be at least twice as high as the size of the contract.

De Jong’s proposals have the support of the smaller groups, the Greens and the centrist/centre-right liberal ALDE, but he needs the EPP and PASD for a majority. ‘So Tuesday is an important vote for small firms,’ he says. ‘And up to then I’ll be continuing to try to persuade the major groups too to accept small business-friendly public procurement rules.’

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