The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is planning to launch a procurement procedure for a study on the involvement of civil society in the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA states.
WHAT IS THIS PUBLICITY ABOUT?
This announcement is made pursuant to Annex I.14 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, to award a low value contract for a study as a result of a negotiated procurement procedure. It is published ahead of the procurement procedure with basic information on the subject matter of the contract, to give economic operators the possibility to express interest in participating as tenderers in the subsequent procurement procedure.
Please note that this announcement is a revised version of the previous announcement for a Study regarding the involvement of civil society in the EPA between the EU and the SADC, with an adapted scope for the tasks.
The EESC own-initiative opinion EU and Africa: Making an equal development partnership a reality based on sustainability and common values (REX/527), emphasises the importance of involving organised civil society for successful outcomes in developing economic partnerships. More recently, the EESC opinion on the Analysis of the role of organised civil society in the new EU-OACPS agreement (REX/543) affirms that the role of civil society organisations/social partners in EPAs is irreplaceable and should be strengthened and proposes to the European Commission that consultative committees be created in the EPAs. In relation to the upcoming revision of the EPA between the EU and the SADC EPA states, the EESC intends to launch a study regarding the role of civil society and social partners in this EPA.
Since 2013, it has become common practice to anchor the role of civil society and social partners in trade agreements. Starting from the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the EU-South Korea FTA, the interests and voices of organised civil society have been taken into account through the implementation of mandatory Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs). Subsequently, DAGs have been established under agreements with the Andean Community, Canada, Central America, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. It should be noted however, that DAGs are envisaged to monitor only the implementation of aspects concerning sustainability chapters.
By contrast, the Consultative Committee (CC) instituted by the Cariforum-EU EPA, provides monitoring of the entire agreement by economic and social partners and representatives of civil society organisations from both participating sides. The introduction of a similar instrument in the revision of the EPA between the EU and the SADC EPA states could be feasible and beneficial.
The objectives of the study are threefold:
- Taking into account the different applications of the institutionalised role of organised civil society in the various FTAs and the Cariforum-EU EPA in the past, the study should analyse the current role of Non-State Actors/civil society in the context of the EPA between the EU and the SADC EPA states and its review. In addition to the interests and views of organised civil society in the EU, focus should be placed on the interests and views of civil society in the SADC EPA states in line with their domestic structures.
- Furthermore, the study should examine the unique role of the CC of the Cariforum-EU EPA in monitoring not only sustainability chapters, but all chapters of the EPA in comparison to traditional DAGs and identify best practices.
- Finally, the study should provide policy recommendations for a mutually beneficial SADC-EU EPA regarding the role of civil society organisations/social partners.
The study should be carried out in English, and cover all the benefiting countries in the current SADC EPA: Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini (Swaziland). A field visit will be expected.
- Launch of the invitation to tender: 2nd quarter 2023.
- Contract award: 2nd quarter 2023.
- The final study report is expected within 8 months following the signature of the contract.
- Deadline for submission of tenders: approximately 2nd quarter 2023.
WHO MAY EXPRESS INTEREST TO BE INVITED IN THE SUBSEQUENT CALL FOR TENDERS?
Participation is open on equal terms to all natural and legal persons established in the European Union (EU) or in a third country which has a special agreement with the EU in the field of public procurement on the conditions laid down in that agreement. This includes:
- All EU Member States;
- Parties to special international agreements with the EU in the field of public procurement:
- European Economic Area agreement (EEA): Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein;
- Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAA): North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.
HOW TO EXPRESS INTEREST
Entities established in a country that has access to the procurement can express interest in participating in the planned procedure by filling in and submitting the contact form (see link at the bottom of this page).
By submitting your contact details, you consent to the EESC processing this personal data in line with this Privacy Statement. To access, change or delete your data at any moment, please contact the data controller by sending an email to studies-eesceesc [dot] europa [dot] eu.
Please note that this announcement does not create any obligation for the EESC to launch a procurement procedure. The EESC will take the submitted information into account only to identify potential candidates. Expressing interest in participating in this type of negotiated procedure does not create any legal right or legitimate expectation on the part of any economic operator, and the EESC has the right to cancel the procedure at any time. The documents of the actual call for tenders (invitation letter, tender specifications and draft contract) will only be provided to the identified candidates when the procedure is launched, and any tender received from a legal or natural person not invited to tender will be rejected.
Expressions of interest in participating or requests for further information should be sent via the following contact form: