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European Commission - Press release
Internal Market: Commission requests the United Kingdom to implement EU rules in the area of defence procurement in Gibraltar
Brussels, 26 April 2012 – The United Kingdom has been asked to notify to the European Commission within the next two months the measures it is taking to implement EU rules on defence procurement (Directive 2009/81/EC). The Commission is concerned that it has failed to fulfil its commitments under the Directive regarding procurement of arms, munitions and war material (and related works and services) for defence purposes, and also the procurement of sensitive supplies, works and services for security purposes. If the Directive is not fully implemented in all Member States, companies and taxpayers alike cannot reap the benefits of easier access to a transparent and open – and hence more competitive - defence market.
These rules are tailored to the specificities of defence and security equipment and markets. The deadline for implementing the rules in question was 20 August 2011. The United Kingdom has not yet transposed the Directive's provisions with regard to Gibraltar, which means that the Directive's measures do not cover its full territory.
The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion. If the UK authorities do not notify the necessary implementing measures within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union and may request the Court to impose financial penalties.
The Directive introduces at European level:
It covers specific security and defence procurement contracts for:
Procurement of non-sensitive and non-military equipment, works and services by contracting authorities in the fields of defence and security is covered by the general public procurement Directive 2004/18/EC.
Both directives are subject to Article 346 of the Treaty, which means that EU countries can exempt defence and security contracts where the rules of Directive 2009/81/EC are not sufficient to safeguard their essential security interests.
Latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States:
For more information on infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/279
Arms, munitions and war material included in the 1958 list which defines the scope of Article 346 of the Treaty