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This publication provides a summary of the discussion entitled "Trading up for a stronger EU27. Free trade of the future – the social partners' perspective" which was held in Sopot (Poland) on 28 September 2017. The conference was organised by the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee in the framework of the European Forum for New Ideas.


The Communication presents a public procurement strategy which sets out the overall policy framework and defines clear priorities to improve procurement in practice and support investment within the EU. Three concrete initiatives are presented alongside this strategy. The Commission presents a Communication on a mechanism for large infrastructure projects to provide clarity and guidance to public authorities on public procurement. It also proposes a Recommendation to professionalise public buyers because a skilful workforce is essential for effective implementation. In parallel, a targeted consultation is launched on a draft guidance on public procurement of innovation, to support the breakthrough of new and more sustainable solutions for our societies.

    EESC opinion: Public Procurement Package


    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is pleased to announce that a Public hearing on the Application of State aid rules for compensating the provision of services of general economic interest will be held on 10 May 2017 from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the headquarters of the EESC, 2 rue Van Maerlant - 1040 Brussels, Room VMA 3.

    The main objective of the hearing is to brainstorm on the challenges and opportunities arising from the current State Aid rules for services of general economic interest.


    Officious transposition of the EU law at the national level undermines Single Market, increases costs and hinders development. Numerous governments of Member States use transposition process as an opportunity to address domestic political issues which results with "goldplating". This unfavorable tendency has negative impact on business and should be avoided by all possible means.

    Plenary session: 
    527 -
    Jul 05, 2017 Jul 06, 2017

    EESC opinion: Application of State aid rules for compensating the provision of services of general economic interest (Decision 2012/21/UE and Community Framework)


    The proposal on an International Procurement Instrument (IPI) is the EU response to the lack of a level playing field in world procurement markets. While our public procurement market is open to foreign bidders, the procurement markets for foreign goods and services in third countries remain to a large extent closed de iure or de facto. The IPI aims at encouraging partners to engage in negotiations and opening participation for EU bidders and goods in third countries' tenders. A first proposal on this issue was made in 2012 (COM(2012) 124 final) but there was no agreement in the Council. The new Commission proposal incorporates some of the changes requested from the European Parliament and tries to reply to some of the concerns expressed in the Council. A number of Member States have expressed reservations as regards the principle of closing the EU market for goods and services originating in certain third countries, even if only temporarily and in a targeted way.

    Access of third country goods and services to the European Union's internal market in public procurement

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    With three quarters of EU citizens of the opinion that corruption is widespread in their own country and over 90% in ten Member States, the EESC is today calling for concrete action at the EU level to combat this Euro120 billion a year crime. Costing the European economy up to 1% of its GDP, the EESC has called on the European institutions and Member States to take concerted action to limit the impact of corruption on people and the economy. Improving transparency lies at the heart of the fight against corruption together with purposeful actions to raise public awareness.


    In June 2011, the Commission adopted a Communication on Fighting Corruption in the EU, establishing the EU Anti-Corruption Report to monitor and assess Member States' efforts in this area with a view to developing a stronger political engagement to address corruption effectively. Corruption is defined in the report in a broad sense as "any abuse of power for private gain".

    Proposals to fight corruption in the EU: meeting business and civil society concerns


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