SMEs within the EU are highly motivated to push the “Buy Local” agenda. In the UK, recent legislation and the declared intent of the government to promote the interests of SMEs has raised the profile of this issue.
There is a strand of the argument which says that EU procurement legislation is the root cause of the problem, reinforcing the pre-eminence of the fundamental freedoms to the detriment of the interests of small local suppliers.
Some truth in there, certainly, and it plays very well domestically – but as this Computer World piece from New Zealand reveals, the tension between supporting local business and enjoying the economies of scale which come from trading with multi-nationals is a global issue and not one limited to the EU.
Perhaps the solution is to engage positively and constructively with the legislative framework and to concentrate on the cultural change in public procurement practice which is needed rather than to man the barricades and seek the overthrow of the EU??