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New eProcurement framework to lower costs


15 Jan 2010


Trade & Society
Innovation & Enterprise

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) in Brussels has launched an eProcurement framework to connect public organizations and private companies in the European Community. This will lead to increased e-commerce within the European Union and lower costs.

Brussels (14 January 2010) – The new CEN Workshop Agreement on ‘Business Interoperability Interfaces’ (BII), was published today. It streamlines the processes in the supplier exchange and will have a huge impact on procurement in Europe.

eBusiness and eProcurement are high on the political agenda of the European Union. The European Commission made the development of an eProcurement framework a top priority in both the 2002 and the 2005 eEurope Action Plans. The Manchester Declaration states that by 2010 all public institutions must have the capability to carry out 100 % of their procurement electronically. “The support of the European Commission and European governments makes this the right time to invest in eProcurement", said Peter Borresen, chairman of the CEN Workshop.

This integration requires precisely defined interfaces on both sides. Besides the technical requirements, the semantics and the business part of the transaction have to be agreed upon. In this context, different jurisdiction regions, which might constitute an obstacle when moving towards a free and open European Market, have to be considered as well. Adding to the challenge are different interpretations of the EU Directive concerning electronic business. All of this calls for a clear definition and understanding of the business rules for e-Procurement.

The new eProcurement framework supports cross border transactions, a very important asset of the European Union. Trading transactions within the community form the major share of all import and export transactions in all the member states. It is therefore important that those trading transactions are supported by cross border integration of the IT systems used by the partners involved.

Background information

A CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) is developed by a Workshop and reflects the consensus of identified individuals and organizations that are responsible for its contents.

The CEN Workshop on Business Interoperability Interfaces (BII) started in 2007 as an initiative by a number of European countries within the CEN system. The objective was to prepare a next generation eProcurement framework accepted across Europe. After 14 meetings and thousands of man-hours, this has now been achieved and the results are available free of charge. The BII framework is available at the CEN web site at:

For more information, please contact Jostein Frömyr ( ).

This CWA reflects the most recent technical and legal developments in Europe. They are ready for implementation as from today and have already been implemented in some European projects, such as PEPPOL (Pan-European Public eProcurement On-Line) and the e-invoicing project of the European Commission.

CEN/BII has agreed on business rules taking into account the differences that exist in the countries that are doing trade within the EU. The result provides a common interpretation of the EU Directive that is now ready to be used by the business partners and their system providers.

To secure appropriate governance and sustainability for the work initiated, the work of the BII workshop will move to its next phase. 

For more information, see:


For further information please visit:

Media contact:

Elisabeth Brodthagen

Unit Manager Communication

CEN-CENELEC : +32.2. 519 68 90 :

CEN - European Committee for Standardization

Avenue Marnix 17, B-1000 Brussels


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