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EU rules don’t kill SMEs green shoots

August 5th, 2013

It is always a serious matter when somebody loses a job. But the Daily Telegraph, “How EU rules weeded out Parliament’s loyal florist”, 31 July 2013, is wrong to yet again plant the EU in the role of a bogeyman. EU public procurement rules do indeed require contracts over GBP 113 000 to be advertised. But despite the claims in the article, these rules aim to make public procurement contracts more accessible to SMEs, not less. The fact that an independent family company – based in the UK like the previous contractor – was awarded this one shows that the rules do work in SMEs’ favour. How the contract has been awarded in the past and why this is the first time it has been advertised are points that only the awarding authority – the British Parliament – can answer. Contracts valued above certain thresholds must be advertised, under EU laws that the UK has fully supported and which provide opportunities across Europe for UK companies. The rules do not prevent public authorities from advertising contracts which are below the “thresholds” a practice that the UK parliament has espoused  – a practice that the UK parliament has espoused 

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