McClarkin: The EU will not open procurement markets around the world by closing off Europe’s

15-Jan-2014 @ 14:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

European Commission plans to close off Europe's public procurement markets to outside countries represents a protectionist move that will undermine all EU growth-related efforts to open markets around the globe, Emma McClarkin MEP, has warned today.

The European Conservatives and Reformists MEP opposed legislation that would allow the EU and its Member States to close off its procurement markets to countries outside the EU. Unfortunately, a majority of protectionist MEPs in the parliament voted the regulation through.

Miss McClarkin, who shadowed the regulation through the parliament, warned that the justification deployed by the European Commission – that EU states struggle to access non-EU procurement markets – is 'at best completely over-exaggerated'. Instead, evidence shows that Chinese and US markets have gradually become and remained more open than German and French markets since 1995.

The setback comes as the European Parliament voted through welcome measures – championed by the ECR – to reform how public procurement works within the EU so that smaller businesses are able to enter the market.

Miss McClarkin has called on national governments to reject the proposals, which would damage the EU's efforts to gain access to fast-rising markets.

She said:

“The EU should not pursue what I see to be a protectionist trade measure.

“The proposal itself is based on the view that the EU currently offers unrestricted access to its own procurement markets, while EU Member States struggle for reciprocal access. But this has been identified as at best completely over-exaggerated, with evidence showing that Chinese and US markets have gradually become more open and have remained more open than both the German and French markets since 1995.

“One cannot but help feel that the Commission's argument is an attempt to wrestle control of public procurement policy from Member States, including the British citizens that I represent. I believe that would be taking a major risk, and it is fair to say that the Commission also has no idea as to how third countries will react to being left out of the EU's public procurement market. China's retaliatory reaction to the EU's anti-dumping levies on Chinese solar panel imports is a case in point. The damage to our international trade relationships across the world could take years to repair, while those countries build relationships elsewhere – not to mention the risk to our own single market and increased public procurement costs for our taxpayers.

“We will not open markets around the world by raising protectionist barriers to Europe's public procurement markets.”

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