At the meeting of the European Commission’s International Trade Committee on 17 and 18 June 2013, the Impact Assessment on Public Procurement Regulation of the proposed Third Party Countries Directive was considered.
The European Parliament public procurement board representative briefly presented the findings of the four independent experts hired by the EP, stressing that all had come to similar conclusions.
In general, it was noted that carrying out an impact assessment in this area was very difficult. On the more detailed criticisms, the assumptions and methods of calculation had been the main aspects questioned by the EP services, in particular the openness measures, the partial procurement market coverage, the unproven assumption of partner markets’ openness, the partial assessment of the impact on SMEs, and the absence of retaliation measures assessment.
The rapporteur said that in the light of these elements, the committee was right to request an additional impact assessment. He added that he had been surprised by the scale of the mistakes and asked the Commission to respond. He considered that the committee should reflect on the impact assessment, which would make it possible to fine-tune the committee’s approach.
All speakers taking the floor agreed with the rapporteur that the EP impact assessment should be used in order to assess the real impact of the proposal; Mr Scholz even felt that the Commission should withdraw its proposal. The Commission replied that one should not dismiss the legal and market openness, adding that public procurement in the international field was not only an issue of market penetration but rather an issue of a rules based system.
The Commission indicated that its impact assessment was based only on existing legal commitments, as was the case in the WTO, instead of penetration rates, which involved some risks.
The Commission indicated that it would study the EP impact assessment.