20 January 2010 | Amy Rowe
Public sector procurement must be placed at the heart of plans to boost the European economy, according to EU leaders.
UK prime minister Gordon Brown and EU President Herman van Rompuy yesterday launched a strategy for growth and employment in European member states.
The “compact”, agreed between leaders and EU officials, urged European nations to promote low-carbon technology and develop free-trade agreements with other countries.
It said member states should use the “power of public procurement” to drive innovation and encourage suppliers to develop new technology to tackle issues, including cutting carbon emissions and boosting resource efficiency.
The report also highlighted a need to establish an EU-wide “small business research initiative”, a procurement process that would offer opportunities to young and innovative businesses.
Brown and van Rompuy said EU countries must agree coordinated measures to secure economic recovery. “The EU, despite the challenge of Asia and the rest of the world, remains the world’s largest trading block,” Brown said.
“We are the biggest export market in the world, we are the largest internal market in the world and we have to forge a new economic strategy for our future following the economic crisis.”