Saturday, January 30, 2010, a new link to EU information

A couple of weeks ago we posted on the recommendation made about by the program "Press Corner" on EuroparlTV, something we got to know from our dear Macarena García, who's already an habitué of this blog, and from our friends from, who were also recommended on EuroparlTV. It was hight time for us to make the due introductions to our friends on (sorry, no way we can tell you their names; that's the best kept secret in the Union... ;-) ).

The directory of EU links, was launched on the summer of 2009 with the aim to gather the most useful websites related to the European Union, its institutions, history, job market and stakeholders. This website, whose followers grow every day, offers today a solid basis of around 750 links sorted by different types of categories which allow quick access to many informations about the EU. In fact, among the links gathered by in the category of Paper & Internet EU Media you can also find, something we would like to take this occasion to thank them for.

The main objective of remains to provide with quick EU-related links and data, something which its own creators have expressed saying that they “cruelly missed such a tool in our professional lives and designed it as a dashboard for all EU-interested people out there, as a must-have link to keep at the top of their Favorites’ list”.

Something that was highlighted on EuroparlTV "Press Corner" was the multilingual character of, something that, as it is the case for, is said to be highly appreciated by European internauts. is already available in English, French and Spanish, but following its global vocation its founders plan to soon offer more language versions.

Apart from EuroparlTV, Eurodatum.con has been recommended since its creation by some quite relevant actors on the EU scenario, such as different national and regional governments in Spain, Belgium or Bulgaria, think-tanks, European studies associations within and outside the Union, or prestigious Universities like Berkeley, Boston, Barcelona or Turku, blogs...; and, of course, they count upon recommendation!

You can go to their website, and also visit page on Facebook, or get in touch with them through the email

It is always a real pleasure to find dynamic people with good ideas which make easier to access EU information, something which has been raison d'être since its very beginning and for what we keep on working everyday. All team welcomes and wish them very good luck to make this project grow.

Good luck!

Thursday, January 28, 2010 contributes a list of UK Public Bodies to open data project

It is nothing new for those who already know us that in we have a strong commitment to open data community, and other collaborative efforts related with open knowledge.

For this reason, and due to an open request made by Jonathan Gray on Twitter, to build a canonical list of United Kingdom public bodies, we have decided to release the list of UK authorities that have announced public contracts in the OJEU since April 2008, extracted from 10ders observatory.

We are contributing this list to the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN), a registry of open knowledge packages and projects, which is hosted by The Open Knowledge Foundation, an organization whose community coordinator is Jonathan Gray. Both the CKAN code and data are open: free for anyone to use and reuse.

As you see, this is another example of our willingness to make the reuse of public sector information and open data an increasingly more visible fact. We want to support the UK government initiative, and so, we really hope that this collaborative effort would be a step towards a greater openness in public information.

Friday, January 22, 2010

One more step towards an ever closer Union on public procurement..., and more filters available for

By the end of last year, and more precisely on December 20th 2009, the transposition period given to Member States to adapt their national legislations to Directive 2007/66/EC (the so called Remedies Directive), ended up, being that at the beginning of 2010 only France, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom had fulfilled their obligation and notified the Commission about the measures taken to do so. Given that only three more MS had notified partial transposition measures, it leaves twenty MS which had failed to notify the Commission about transposition measures concerning Directive 2007/66/EC by the beginning of 2010.

Looking back, it was in May 2006 when the Commission put forward a proposal to amend the Remedies Directive aimed to ensure a more equitable environment in public procurement and encourage EU companies to tender in any MS by providing them higher legal certainty. This review based on previous consultations, was intended to improve the effectiveness of pre-contractual reviews as well as providing a way to fight against situations where redress measures were not sufficiently clear for unsuccessful bidders or even situations of “race to the signature” in which there is not a reasonable period between the award of the contract and its signature.

One of the key elements of this revision on Remedies Directives has been the introduction of a harmonized 10-day Mandatory Standstill Period between the award of the contract and its signature, in order to allow unsuccessful bidders to request additional information and take appropriate actions if they consider that their right has been harmed by breach of the rules. If the standstill period is not respected or the contract has been illegally awarded, the Directive provides the possibility to bring it to the Court and declare the ineffectiveness of the contract. The ineffectiveness of the contract can be declared on various grounds such as the failure to advertise the contract in the OJEU or the breach of the standstill period and the automatic suspension, and can be claimed up to six months after the contract award.

Apart from any dogmatic issues which have already come to the Palestra, it seems that contracting authorities, economic operators and national Courts will now have to face the legal consequences of declaring a contract's ineffectiveness, the compensations, as well as the eventual practical issues arising from that declaration such as protection of properties, subcontractors rights protection or any other situation originated. It seems, indeed, quite an interesting debate...

The new Remedies Directive targets very specially the illegal direct award of contracts, which has been considered by the European Court of Justice as the most serious breach of Community law in the field of public procurement on the part of a contracting authority, giving the Courts the possibility to declare ineffective a contract directly awarded if transparency and open competitiveness has not been respected.

Further to these redress measures, Directive 2007/66/EC also introduces some new practical issues such as the introduction of a new form, the so-called Voluntary Ex Ante Transparency (VEAT) notice, which allows contracting authorities to avoid ineffectiveness of the contract based on failure to advertise by giving the required transparency. This type of document will generally be associated to the award procedure of a contract without prior publication of a contract notice or the negotiated without a call for competition procedure.

In addition to improving access to information concerning Community public procurement, the implementation of Directive 2007/66/EC will also have some practical implications, providing new filtering options for the information tools which allow users to publish EU procurement notices in any website, allowing them to publish these type of notices automatically in their sites.

We have already mentioned in several occasions the difficulties that many EU companies face when taking part in public procurement market. These barriers to access public procurement market, which are even being considered under the scope of the new European Innovation Plan, burden very specially small but very innovative companies, as it is considered that promoting innovation by public procurement could be a good contribution to rationalize public expenses. This is one of the reasons why keeps its commitment to continue to facilitate access to information about public procurement opportunities in the European Union for all interested public.

We will keep you posted on any new feature which comes up to improve tools, as well as any new possibility that new developments on EU public procurement rules may offer for all of you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

10ders Observatory: Map of the evolution of procurement notices and contract awards in Europe

One of the best ways to analyse data series is by representing them on a map, as it allows to visualize complex tables and draw conclusions more easily. Today, 10ders observatory wants to offer you two maps to compare the evolution of public procurement announcements published in the OJEU by public administrations across Europe between the second and the third quarter of 2009.

Taking into account that those countries with a higher percentage increase in the number of issued contracts have been represented in green, and that those represented in red are the countries which have published fewer contracts in the third quarter of 2009, it seems that the map on procurement evolution shows some similarities with the one representing the evolution of economic recovery, leaded by France and Germany.

We have used a colour scale based on the percentage change in the announcements published in each country during the 3rd quarter of 2009 over the previous quarter. Thus, green (+30%) represents the maximum increase, which as we said last week, relates to Portugal and Luxembourg, while red (-21%) shows the largest falls, located in the Baltic countries and Slovenia.

When the variation is minimal, the country is coloured in yellow, which, as you can see, is the case of countries such as the United Kingdom, Greece and Italy, where public authorities have published nearly the same number of contracts during the two quarters. Between these data, there is a wide variety of colours illustrating different situations for which we invite you to draw your own conclusions.

To complement the analysis, using the same methodology, we would like to show you this map which represents the evolution of the number of contract awards published in the OJEU in the 27 European Union countries, comparing the third and the fourth quarters of 2009.

Finally, here is an outlook of the distribution by type of contract (public works, supplies and services) of the tender notices issued at European level by public administrations and entities of the 27 EU countries. The highest volume of contract notices relates to service contracts, which, added to the supply ones, represent more than three quarters of the total.

As you can see, there are no large differences between the Union as a whole (EU27) and the 16 Member states within the Euro area (EU16). But beware! the differences between countries are enormous. This is the case, e.g., for data coming from countries such as Spain and Germany which, without even being in the extremes of the series, show volume rates of public works contracts published in the OJEU ranging from 8% to 43.5%.

We hope this new post edited by our colleagues of 10ders Observatory for the Official blog, has been interesting for you. Those of you wishing to obtain detailed data series for your analysis can contact us at 10ders Observatory already has available data series for the fourth quarter of 2009, so that you can use them in your analysis of the entire year.

PS: Next week we will be posting in 10ders Observatory about the data you're all waiting for, the estimates of the aggregate economic value of EU tenders published in the OJEU.

Friday, January 15, 2010

And now, on European Parliament TV!

Once more, people is speaking about And this time far far away from our "home"!

Last week we had the pleasant surprise of discovering, thanks to our friend Macarena Rodríguez (who is "the ear of Europe" for reasons like this) and our friends of Eurodatum that we appeared in EuroparlTV, web TV of the European Parliament, which was launched in September 2008.

Thanks to them we knew that the program "Press Corner" of EuroparlTV had devoted some time to explaining services, stressing above all our business opportunities section and in-depth treatment of the financial opportunities in the European Union, as well as our news about the European Union and our blogs directory. You can see it around the 16th minute of this video:

We are proud to be once more an example of website that adds value to public information, and a quality source of information for European news. We are also pleased that they underlined the multilingual nature of, something we have always wagered on.

And as always, we can only share this new success with all of you, who compose the Community. Every day we have more reasons to be proud of!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

10ders observatory: Tender announcements grow in the third quarter of 2009, but still less than contract awards figures

In the third quarter of 2009, at the same time that the first statistics showing positive data in terms of economic growth in Europe were published, the amount of calls for tenders announcements published by European public administrations in the OJEU also increased. In the European Union as a whole (EU27), the number of tender announcements published during the 3rd quarter of 2009 increased by 3.73% over the previous quarter, and 2.04% compared to the 3rd quarter of 2008. Furthermore, rates in terms of growth in the number of contracts announced have been significantly higher in the Euro area (UE16): 4.98% towards 2nd quarter of the year, and 5.10% over the same period in 2008.

Contract announcements

Luxembourg and Portugal were the two Member states with the highest increase in the number of tender announcements issued by public administrations and entities, showing figures of 42.64% and 34.17% respectively, while the most important drops in EU27 have been registered in Finland (-21.4%) and Slovenia (-18.90%).

There are also some notorious cases depending on the nature of contracts, such as the fall in public works tender announcements in Bulgaria (-77.42%) or the service contracts notices published in the Czech Republic (-26.39%), as well as the growth in the amount of supply contracts announced in Germany (16.72%) during this period.

Compared with the third quarter of 2008, data for the same period in 2009 show a specially significant growth in the number of contracts announced in Hungary (23.02%) and Germany (20.52%), while the most important falls were registered in Ireland (-23.68%) and Romania (-27.14%).

According to 10ders observatory estimations, and considering all Member States, the amount of contract awards published by EU governments and other public entities in the OJEU rose by 10.78% towards the second quarter of 2009 and by 13.12% towards the 3rd quarter of 2008. This growth registered over the previous quarter of the year was much higher in the Euro area (UE16): 17.35%, being mainly driven by the increase in the award of public works contracts (19.23%) in countries such as Germany (22.74%) and France (30.60%) and despite the fall in Belgium (-4.52%), Ireland (-23.08%) and the Netherlands (-11.11%).

The strong growth in the amount of public procurement contracts awarded in Germany during the 3rd quarter of 2009 (25.94%) in relation to the 2nd quarter of the year, and more particularly the growth in supply contracts awarded in Portugal (41.10%) and service contracts awarded in Austria (38.67%), are in contrast with the declines in the number of contracts awarded both for public works and services in Bulgaria (-39.47% and -55.10% respectively), as well as the strong decrease of supply contracts awarded in Denmark (-40.76%).

Compared with the same period in 2008, Poland shows a significant increase in the number of service contracts awarded (114.24%), while Ireland and Greece stand out for their fall in the award of supply contracts (-40.58%) and public works contracts (-60.42%) respectively.

This is the first post of a series of "Tenders Observatory", where we aim to offer to the Euroalert community some of the main statistics about the evolution of public procurement in Europe, which publishes and distributes. All these data have been elaborated by our colleagues at 10ders, the customized service of data-mining on public procurement and business opportunities which, thanks to its innovative search technology, is able to customize complex data series at very cost-effective prices.

We hope this new initiative that we have launched with the beginning of the decade will be useful and interesting for you. Of course, if you are interested in more specific data sets you can contact us at