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While many European countries already use electronic procurement to make tendering of public sector contracts simpler and more efficient, most of these solutions are implemented solely on a national or regional level, with limited access to other communities. Initiated in 2008, the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) project has been developing and implementing the technology standards to align business processes for electronic procurement across all governments within Europe, aiming to expand market connectivity and interoperability between eProcurement communities.


PEPPOL enables access to its standards-based IT transport infrastructure through access points, and provides services for eProcurement with standardised electronic document formats (based on UBL and CEN/BII) PEPPOL’s vision is to enable businesses to communicate electronically with any European government institution in the procurement process, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs. 

Through agreement on specifications for cross-border procurement processes, the European Commission’s pilot project PEPPOL has contributed to the development of a pan-European, standards-based IT infrastructure. PEPPOL has not replaced, but built upon, the existing strengths of national eProcurement systems by using information and communication technologies to enable them to connect with each other. 
PEPPOL does not compete with IT service and solution providers. In fact, IT companies will be the key enablers of PEPPOL's connectivity, offering new, value added services and solutions to their clients.

As an open standardised platform, PEPPOL's infrastructure has been designed to interconnect existing networks and bridge individual eBusiness islands in Europe. PEPPOL increases business opportunities for participants and supports interoperability across borders. It facilitates electronic communication among European companies and government institutions in the pre-award and post-award procurement process. For example:

               A Danish small manufacturer of specialised microscopes could easily bid in a tender issued by a French hospital. PEPPOL standards would ensure that the manufacturer’s corporate attestations and product offers are securely submitted to the hospital in a legally and technically appropriate manner. And, if this Danish small enterprise is successful in its bid, the French hospital would be able to send orders and receive invoices in terms of a common set of defined business rules and processes (Link to the PEPPOL-video).                                       


Responding effortlessly to any tender across the EU improves the competitiveness of suppliers: they will benefit from greater efficiencies, lower costs and an increased profit potential. Contracting authorities will benefit from increased competition through sourcing across the EU, and they will reduce administrative costs through process automation.

The PEPPOL consortium is comprised of seventeen partners (mostly leading public eProcurement agencies) within 11 countries:  Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom. PEPPOL activities are funded jointly by consortium members and the European Commission. 


Watch also the PEPPOL video to better understand the aims of the project.

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