Government Procurement Agreement Parties

The WTO GPA is a multi-lateral agreement with 48 Member States committed to making covered purchases in a transparent, predictable and non-discriminatory manner. The most recent member is Australia, which joined in 2019. The WTO`s Multilateral Agreement on Public Procurement (GPA), which is currently under review, remains the essential instrument for the opening up of international public procurement. While agreement was reached on the new text (procedure rules for tenders) in December 2006, market access negotiations between the GPA parties faced divergent ambitions and have not yet been concluded. The European Community, represented by the Commission, is in favour of an ambitious opening up of international public procurement and, therefore, in 2005 presented a comprehensive offer of openness to EU public procurement, including the procurement sector. However, at the request of the Council [5], the Commission submitted a revised, more limited offer in February 2008 at the request of the Council [5], due to the reluctance of other parties to the GPA to open up their public procurement more to international competition. Nevertheless, the community offer remains the broadest compared to the other parties to the GPA. Pending ratification of the EPA, the Council approved an interim agreement on accompanying and accompanying (AI) measures in June 1998 [21]. The CEW, which came into force on 1 July 1998, also provides for procurement provisions and sets out the Joint Council to monitor the above agreement.

On March 30, 2012, the parties to the GPA adopted a review of the GPA. The revised agreement expands the markets covered by the GPA to provide U.S. products, services and suppliers with new opportunities to participate in centralized and sub-centralized procurement in other GPA parties. The revised agreement also provides for a substantial improvement in the text of the treaty by modernising the text to take into account current procurement practices and to clarify its commitments. The revised agreement came into force on 6 April 2014 following the tabling of the acceptance instrument by ten parties, two thirds of the parties to the agreement on that date. Since March 2019, Switzerland is the only member country of the GPA to have yet to table its instruments of acceptance and, as such, US commitments to Switzerland are defined in the 1994 GPA. The Eastern Partnership also includes negotiations for new, broad association (association) agreements (including comprehensive and comprehensive free trade agreements combining market access rules and regulatory alignment with the acquis) with countries that are ready and able to engage more. The EU enlargements in 2004 and 2007 added some EUR 55 billion in additional purchasing opportunities [6], of which around EUR 10 billion [7] represents supply purchases. As a result of the EU enlargements, the agreements on the enlargement of the European Economic Area have been signed. The procurement market in the EEA amounts to 460 billion euros, of which about 81 billion euros for public procurement exceeds the thresholds subject to the same rules on public procurement (the directives). The EU is implementing stabilisation and association agreements (ASAs) with Western Balkan countries wishing to join the EU.

With regard to contracting, SAAS guarantees mutual rehabilitation and non-discrimination of suppliers, as well as asymmetric market access. ASAs also cover purchases from utility companies. The Joint Committee on Public Procurement has been meeting regularly since the interim agreement came into force. It also addressed the issue of a possible extension of coverage. During the scoping exercise in early 2009, it was pointed out that any agreement was intended to ensure full coverage of centralized and sub-centralised public procurement in all sectors, including utilities, in order to ensure treatment that is no less favourable than that given to local suppliers.

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