Agreement sought on a modernised, pro-SMEs legislative package on public procurement, which represents up to 19% of EU GDP. Irish Presidency Ministers Howlin and Hayes meet European Parliament Committee chairman Malcolm Harbour MEP, in Dublin.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, and Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Brian Hayes met today with the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), Mr. Malcolm Harbour, MEP. This meeting reviewed negotiations on three EU public procurement directives on which Ireland, as Presidency of the Council of the European Union, intends to secure agreement as part of its programme for stability, jobs and growth
During the meeting, Minister Howlin underlined the economic importance of this public procurement package, the timely adoption of these directives is among the highest priorities of the Irish Presidency. Recalling that that the European public procurement market accounts for approximately 19% of EU GDP, he stressed that the reform of public procurement rules offers a significant opportunity to foster growth and innovation across Europe. Minister Howlin also stressed the importance of the three directives to an effective EU single market, and to make it easier for SMEs to bid for public contracts.
Minister Howlin thanked Mr. Harbour for the hard work he and his colleagues are investing in reaching agreement on these high-priority files.
Minister Howlin - "We owe a maximum effort to the European citizens and taxpayers to achieve not only timely, but also legally well-designed and politically fair agreements on these important files."
Minister Howlin believes that the hard work put in by both Parliament and Council on these complex proposals is allowing both co-legislators to have a very productive engagement during the current negotiation process and will ensure reach agreement on all three proposals next month.
Minister Hayes, noting that Mr Harbour was also in Dublin attending the informal meeting of EU Competitiveness Ministers, welcomed the opportunity for today’s meeting. Minister Hayes stated: “This week has seen the Irish Presidency zero in on SMEs as a key driver for growth and jobs, whether through securing better access for finance, research and innovation supports or through greater opportunities in terms of public procurement."
Minister Hayes - "Agreement between Council and the Parliament on this package would be an excellent step forward for Europe’s SMEs”.
Minister Howlin, Minister of State Hayes and Mr. Harbour agreed that intensive work in a constructive manner continues to be done by both the Parliament and the Council, and that there is the necessary political will on all sides to reach an agreement under the Irish Presidency.
Notes to Editors
View Deputy Ambassador to the EU, Tom Hanney's interview with ViEUws on EU public procurement package.