SME–friendly public procurement in Germany?: Legal strategies and political challenges

Eva Katherina Sarter, Sebastian Fuchs, Detlef Sack

Research output: Working paper


Public procurement is an important major part of States¿ spending; within the OECD, public procurement accounted for an average of roughly one third of all general government expenditures in 2011 (OECD, 2013). Focusing on the EU solely, public procurement reaches a level of nearly one fifth of the GDP (European Commission, 2012).

As has been shown widely, public procurement spending with its high volume has been taken as a lever to foster certain social, ecological and economic goals (Bovis, 1998; McCrudden, 2007; Scherrer et al., 2010). Among these, regional development and the fostering of certain types of industries were not the least (Bovis, 1998; McCrudden, 2007). With a focus on public procurement as a means to influence regional development and economic outcomes as well as to foster employment and innovation, one anchor point springs to mind: Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs represent a vast majority of all enterprises and account for roughly two third of all jobs in the EU (Eurostat, 2011). However, looking at their position in public tendering, they are facing specific hindrances to and challenges in participation as well as certain disadvantages compared to big enterprises. Thereby, specific limitations SMEs face are strongly related to public tendering practices. Against this background, it comes as no surprise that the participation of SMEs is one of the points of
concern of public procurement regulations and practices. In Germany, fostering SMEs in tendering is a part and subset of the cross-party political goal of „Mittelstandsförderung¿ (promotion of SMEs).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherBielefeld University
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

Publication series

NameWorking Paper Series ‘Comparative Governance’
PublisherBielefeld University


  • SMEs
  • public procurement
  • Germany


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