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 PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) 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.
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.
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.