TTIP’s impact on the TTIP

Public procurement has long been an offensive interest in EU Trade Policy and is given […]

Policy Brief


Public procurement has long been an offensive interest in EU Trade Policy and is given a strong profile in the Commission’s Trade for All strategy which states that ‘public procurement spending … accounts for 15% to 20% of GDP worldwide. The DG Trade website states that the objectives of negotiations in EU trade agreements are:

  • to set modern and international standard procurement principles which seek to ensure that public money is spent in a transparent, efficient and non-discriminatory way.
  • provide a level playing field for EU suppliers when tendering abroad.

The relationship between the EU and the US in the area of procurement goes back to the post-GATT years when the US, having previously not requested the support for the setting of procurement rules from the EU, started to work more closely with them to shape procurement in the WTO’s General Procurement Agreement (GPA). The US and the EU thus jointly developed rules in OECD that were applied in the GPA and in free trade agreements of the parties with third countries. In the 1980s the EU created the single market agreement and worked with the USA in OECD leading up to the 1994 Uruguay round which created the 1994 GPA. Revised in 2014 mainly to update the agreement to include electronic procurement tools, the basis of the agreement is to ensure ‘guarantees of national treatment and non-discrimination for the suppliers of parties to the Agreement with respect to procurement of covered goods, services and construction services as set out in each party’s schedules. The GPA negotiations concluded with the US only offering partial access to sub-federal level procurement in 37 States and some bilateral agreements with States and cities. The EU responded by withholding binding commitments on coverage of some EU procurement from suppliers in the US.

Read the policy brief

Find all related publications

The case of Ukraine’s candidacy to the EU

Progressive policy towards the eastern neighbourhood as a cornerstone of the EU's stability and security

Back to the Dark Ages?

Q-commerce, rapid retail and the changing landscape of retail work

Getting the goods

Trade unions and strategy in the quick-commerce sector

Making Next-Generation EU a permanent tool

Recovery Watch series
Find all related news

Joint priorities for the Defence of Democracy Package

We are proud to share that FEPS has contributed to a paper summarising the Joint […]

Digital programme: Algorithms at the workplace

FEPS, together with Nordic partners, launched a Digital Program on algorithmic management and workers' rights

When will European women start earning the same as men?

Spoiler alert: that day hasn’t arrived yet

Let’s end involuntary unemployment!

European survey on the perception of unemployment and publicly funded jobs
Find all related in the media
In the media

Work insecurity: the high cost of ultra-fast grocery deliveries

by euobserver 30/03/2023
EUobserver on the ultra-fast grocery deliveries and our policy study 'Back to the Dark Ages? Quick Commerce and the changing landscape of retail work', published in collaboration with Uni Europa.

Research shows Ireland is too reliant on voluntary sector for mental health services

by RTÉ Radio 1 27/03/2023
RTÉ Radio 1 talks about our case studies 'Is an EU-wide approach to the mental health crisis necessary?', published in collaboration with Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC)

Irish mental health services ‘too hospital-centric’

by Irish Examiner 23/03/2023
Irish Examiner article on FEPS and TASC policy study "Is an EU-wide approach to the Mental Health Crisis necessary?"

Ireland lacks key mental health services, report finds

by RTÉ 23/03/2023
RTÉ article on FEPS and TASC policy study "Is an EU-wide approach to the Mental Health Crisis necessary?"