Improving SMEs Access to Cross-Border Public Procurement

Public procurement is a critical factor for the success of SMEs. The aim of the SESAM is to put SMEs in the position where they can apply to relevant procurements confidently. To achieve these goals various tools are offered, e.g. trainings, seminars, webinars, publications and more.

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About the SESAM


Every year, over 250 000 public authorities in the EU spend around 14% of GDP on the procurement of services, works and supplies. For 2013, the estimated value of tenders published in TED amounted to around 423 billion euro, while the total general government procurement expenditure excluding utilities was estimated at around 1 787 billion euro.

For the period 2009-2011, SMEs won 29% of above threshold procurement through direct contracts. When other factors are taken into account (e.g. joint bids, subcontracting) the percentage grows to 46%. However, this is still significantly lower than the 58% that represent their contribution to GDP. Their participation in below-threshold procurement is higher, equaling their contribution to GDP. The participation of SMEs in cross-border procurement is limited. Cross-border procurement through direct contracts in the EU reached an average of 1.26% of all contracts and 3.35% of the aggregate procurement value. Although 54% of these contracts were won by SMEs, this amounted to only 22% of the value of cross-border procurement.

One of the key objectives of Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement is to facilitate the participation of small and medium enterprises in domestic and cross-border procurement.

Project SESAM was initiated in 2017 and it will provide knowledge and support that are necessary for a successful participation in public procurement within European Union and in particular in France, Germany, Italy and Poland.

The following tools will be available for entrepreneurs:

  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Training sessions
  • Factsheets and guidelines
  • B2B (business to business) and B2P (business to procurer) events
  • Lists of potential partners/public buyers
  • Advisory services

Project partners


Knowledge corner


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