30 June 2006 | Paul Snell
A total of 22 EU member states belonging to the European Defence Agency (EDA) have signed up to a voluntary code allowing foreign competitors to bid for national military procurement deals.
The code, which comes into effect tomorrow (1 July), will cover deals worth more than ?1 million (around £690,000).
Member states adopting the code have committed to "maximising fair and equal opportunities" to all suppliers from other subscribing countries. Procurement opportunities will be published on an online portal, which will also provide transparent and objective criteria for selecting bidders and awarding contracts, the EDA said.
Spain and Hungary opted not to sign the agreement, but have not ruled out joining at a later date. Denmark is not currently part of the EDA.
Brinley Salzmann, exports director for the UK-based Defence Manufacturers Association, told supplymanagement.com
he remains sceptical about the agreement.
"It's all a matter of implementation," he said. "The EDA has asked defence companies for their feedback if countries are not abiding by the code."