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Eu Contracts

Volume 408: debated on Friday 11 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations she has had from small businesses regarding reform of the system for awarding EU public sector contracts. [125169]

I meet regularly with organisations representing the interest of small businesses, and am aware of the difficulties small firms face when tendering for public sector contracts across the EU.We have highlighted these concerns in the UK's response to the Commission's Entrepreneurship Green Paper, written after a public consultation. Our response calls for the Commission to ensure that small firms do not face discrimination in relation to public sector procurement and that access to the EU public sector marketplace is encouraged for all firms, regardless of size.This view is, I believe, also taken up by many small firm representative organisations' responses to the Commission, and I look forward to drawing further on their views as the drafting of the Entrepreneurship Action Plan progresses.