Pillar 1 - 1. Towards full e-procurement and use of contract registers

Support the transition of Member States towards full e-procurement and use of contract registers

Potential of action

As public expenditure on goods, works and services represents 14% of the EU’s GDP, managing it more efficiently can significantly contribute to improving the overall efficiency of public expenditure. The transition to end-to-end e-procurement can generate significant savings and constitutes a growth enabler by opening up the Internal Market and by fostering innovation and simplification. Based on the extrapolation of national evaluations of benefits, the Commission estimates that the adoption of e-invoicing in public procurement across the EU could generate savings of up to 2.3 bn €[1].

Description of action

Transition to full e-procurement will be supported via measures aiming at a coordinated approach to the development of the national e-procurement systems, with the medium-term objective to achieve once-only principle in public procurement. The building blocks of the once-only principle are the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD)[2] and the e-Certis[3]. The measures include policy work in coordination with multi-stakeholder forum, bilateral dialogues and country-specific action plans, provision of funding support via the ESIF and CEF. The Commission is working with the Member States to improve the transparency and quality of national procurement systems through better data, by the establishment of contract registers covering the whole life cycle of contracts and by supporting the development and deployment of a data analytics and anomaly-detection tool to better uncover existing or prospective procurement irregularities. In this respect, a key action will take place in 2019, i.e. the adoption of the revised standard forms for the publication of procurement calls and awards of contracts [4]. The new forms are developed as eForms, to reduce significantly the administrative burden for contracting authorities and improve the quality of data. The work on eForms will continue beyond the completion of this action. Technical specifications of the eForms willare foreseen to be published by the Commission by Q3 2020.  Member States will be implementing the eForms from fall 2020 (optional use as of 14 November 2022) until fall 2023 (from that moment, the use of eForms will be mandatory).

With regard to eInvoicing, on 17 October 2017 the European Standard for eInvoicing was published. EU Member States had until 17 April 2019 to implement the eInvoicing Directive 2014/55/EU and they can postpone the implementation with one year – for the sub-central authorities only. According to the Directive, starting April 2019, electronic invoices in the EU standard sent by suppliers must be accepted and processed automatically and digitally by all public administrations in the EU, for all contracts above the EU public procurements thresholds. Lower thresholds might apply in certain countries based on national legislation.

To have an overview of the situation in all EU Member States, please check the eInvoicing country factsheets:


Main responsible at the European Commission: DG GROW

Target date: 2019

Status: Completed

More info (website):  https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/public-procurement/digital_en


[1] End-to-end e-procurement to modernise public administration, COM(2013) 453 final

[2] Web-based form enabling the economic operators to self-declare that they fulfil the exclusion and selection criteria of a tender. More information can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/public-procurement/e-procurement/espd_en   

[3] Web service that helps public buyers and tenderers identify different certificates requested by Member States in public procurement procedures. The tool can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/tools/ecertis/search

[4]Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1780 of 23 September 2019 establishing standard forms for the publication of notices in the field of public procurement and repealing Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1986 (eForms)

More info (website): https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/public-procurement/digital_en


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