DW-03

Chrono - Head of Unit for Public Procurement Policy in DG III, Internal Market and Industrial Affairs

Documents from [1987] to [1994]
Fonds Creator
Abstract

As head of the Unit, White led the discussions and negotiations on most issues, so the papers give a personal insight into the rapidly developing work and a lot of detail about the development of proposals and the concerns addressed.
Briefings for the Councils give a detailed insight into the nature of the discussions. The file for this period contains many of the over 100 non-papers which the Commission used to progress the discussion in Council.
As the legislative programme under the White Paper advanced, the intensity of activity at the GATT Government Procurement Agreement increased. There are many notes in the files giving personal assessments of the way the negotiations were developing, the issues and tensions (also within the Commission services) until their success at the end of 1993.
Furthermore, there are notes concerning a panel complaint against the USA for breach of the GATT Government Procurement Agreement in the course of procuring a sonar mapping system for use in the Antarctic Survey. The EC won the panel, but the USA blocked adoption of the panel report.

Extent and Medium

11 files

Administrative and Biographical History

The creation of a single integrated internal market had been envisaged from the start of the European Economic Community. Within that single market, public procurement represented a major element accounting for expenditure of some 200 billion ECU per year at government level. However, there was the tendancy of the purchasing authorities to confine this procurement within their own country. This practice was a major obstacle to the creation of a home market of sufficient size to allow European industry to develop competitive structures by world-wide standards. Hence, there is a sizeable amount of material on government procurement in these files.
From May 1987 White was put in charge of the Public Procurement Policy Unit of DG III. Public procurement was one of the major issues in Commissioner Lord Cockfield's White Paper on the internal market. When White took up his position,
- the proposal for a Public Supplies Directive was in first reading negotiation,
- a proposal for a Public Works Directive had been adopted, but this was rapidly seen to be inadequate and the issue was to delay the discussions until the Commission could rethink its proposal. This it achieved with help from the EP,
- a proposal for a Directive on Remedies was planned,
- a proposal for a Directive on Procurement of Public Services was envisaged,
- the major issue was the preparation of a proposal for a Directive extending a procurement regime to the telecommunications, water, energy and transport sectors which had been excluded from earlier legislation,
- the Government Procurement Agreement of the GATT was about to become active (although not part of the Uruguay Round),
- extension of the EC regime to the EFTA.
The Commission proposal on the excluded sectors was the subject of very intensive preparation and lengthy negotiations in the EP and Council. However it failed at the Internal Market Council in December 1989 but was adopted under the Irish Presidency in February 1990.
There are many notes in the files giving personal assessments of the way negotiations were developing, the issues and tensions (including within the Commission services) until their success at the end of 1993.

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