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Horizon 2020 is a research and innovation fund launched by the European Commission for the
period of 2014 to 2020. It is a continuation of the Framework Program for Research and
Technical Development which had served as a cornerstone of research and innovation in the EU for the past five decades.
One of the differences of Horizon 2020, in comparison to the previous mechanisms, is that in some cases it provides up to 100% financial support to scientific projects. It also has a strong focus on international cooperation which creates a significant opportunity for US companies and researchers.
Government procurement in Europe is bound by certain international obligations in the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and the EU Public Procurement Directives. U.S.-based companies are allowed to bid on public tenders covered by the GPA, while European subsidiaries of U.S. companies may bid on all public procurement contracts covered by the EU directives in the European Union. This report describes the conditions and types of contracts that are open to U.S. companies, and for clarity purposes, distinguishes between U.S.-based companies and European subsidiaries of U.S. companies, as they do not enjoy the same bidding rights. This report also discusses tools and resources that are available to U.S. companies to gain access to government procurement contracts in Europe.
The EU actively supports and promotes Green Public Procurement (GPP) in the context of its policy on sustainable consumption and production, and public purchasers at all levels in the EU are increasingly aware of the need to meet specific environment policy goals and targets for greenhouse gas emissions, energy and waste reductions. EU Public Procurement Directives allow public contracting authorities to include environmental considerations into their procurement procedures for public works, services and supplies contracts. The Directives specifically mention the possibilities for adopting environmental considerations at the level of technical specifications, award criteria and contract performance clauses. With this focus, the European Commission hopes to boost green purchasing, thereby encouraging the development of environmentally friendly technologies for the marketplace. U.S. companies are advised to be aware of the tools that public purchasers use to implement those policy goals and this report aims to help them be well prepared to successfully bid on contracts.
The time of Member States’ Ministries of Defense ability to purchase defense equipment according to their own national rules has come to an end. EU Directive 2009/81/EC governs the procurement procedures for defense and non-military security supply, services and works contracts. The EU Directive aims at harmonizing acquisition procedures throughout the EU: first by increasing competition and encouraging cross-border bidding among European bidders, so as to prevent systematic sole-source procurement or non-competitive procurement from national suppliers; second, by increasing transparency through the obligation to advertise defense contracts in the EU Official Journal.
Structural Funds are one of the main instruments used in the Europe Union to mitigate economic and social differences between regions. They are financial instruments that allocate funding to develop local infrastructure, services and other relevant activities. The Structural Funds are composed of two independent financial mechanisms:
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); and European Social Fund (ESF).
Both of these funds are operated from the payments of all member states. These payments are redistributed to the EU regions with the aim of mitigating social and economic differences. While the distribution mechanism of the fund is overseen by the European Commission`s DG REGIO, there may be differences with regards to the tendering processes in the different member states.
This report is designed to help U.S. companies better understand the process by which projects are funded and financed in the EU and, consequently, to maximize the chances of participating in these projects.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the financing arm of the European Union. The EIB finances major investment projects in the EU in the areas of telecommunication, energy, environment, health and socio-economic infrastructure. The bank lends to both public and private borrowers for investment projects in the European Union, in EU candidate countries and in developing countries. Companies interested in obtaining a loan for large investment projects from the EIB may contact the bank directly, while smaller loans are negotiable through commercial banks in the country of the project. This report outlines the opportunities provided by the bank and its international partners for financing in and across the EU member states..