Action plan for the implementation of the legal framework for electronic public procurement

European Commission


This Communication proposes an Action Plan for the implementation of the new legalframework for electronic public procurement adopted in April 2004 as part of the legislativepackage of Procurement Directives, 2004/18/EC and 2004/17/EC. These provide a coherentframework for conducting procurement electronically in an open, transparent and nondiscriminatoryway, establish rules for tendering electronically and fix the conditions formodern purchasing techniques based on electronic means of communication.

If online procurement is generalised, it can save governments up to 5% on expenditure and upto 50-80% on transaction costs for both buyers and suppliers. While it is difficult to quantifycompetition and efficiency benefits for the EU as a whole, greater competition and efficiencyin public procurement markets can impact - directly and indirectly - on the whole economyand play an important role in achieving the Lisbon objectives.

However, the inappropriate introduction of e-procurement carries high risks of marketfragmentation. The legal, technical and organisational barriers that may result fromprocurement online are one of the greatest challenges for policy makers.

The consultations as part of the impact assessment conducted by the Commission confirm theneed for an Action Plan. Member States, candidate countries and businesses are ready toparticipate in it. Building upon existing efforts to modernise European public procurementmarkets and to make these more open and competitive, the Commission proposes measuresalong three axes:

  • Ensure a well functioning Internal Market when public procurement is conducted electronically;
  • Achieve greater efficiency in procurement and improve governance;
  • Work towards an international framework for electronic public procurement.


  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Objectives and Action
  • 2.1. Ensure a well functioning Internal Market in electronic public procurement
  • 2.2. Achieve greater efficiency in procurement, improve governance and competitiveness
  • 2.3. Work towards an international framework for electronic public procurement
  • 3. Implementation of e-procurement Action Plan and Monitoring