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 Full text 
Verbatim report of proceedings
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Wednesday, 8 June 2022 - Strasbourg Revised edition

International procurement instrument (debate)

  Catharina Rinzema, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, dear Commissioner, dear colleagues, this is my first debate in plenary, so very honoured to be here. We in the European Union thrive from an open market and as the world’s largest trading bloc, we shall continue to prosper from open and free trade with our partners.

At the same time, the world around us has changed. For many years, we are seeing that not everyone is playing by the same rules and that many countries keep their procurement markets closed for European companies, all of this while those countries continue to benefit from our openness. Whether we are talking about the construction of roads and bridges, dredging rivers or selling metro stations, we see more and more foreign state—owned enterprises participating in European tenders – for instance, the Pelješac bridge in Croatia, which was built by a Chinese state-owned company with EU funds.

All of this is currently possible while European companies can often not participate in tenders in China. And China is not the only country where we are seeing closed doors. We want open and free trade. But let one thing be clear: we need to draw a line somewhere. We need to avoid seeing unfair situations elsewhere in Europe, also in my home country, the Netherlands.

So in order to continue to prosper, we will need fair trade, because our businesses, big and small, are the backbone of our economy. We will finally be able to make it harder for foreign companies to win tenders here or even to exclude them as long as their countries are not opening their markets to European companies. We want to keep our openness, but you have to open as well.

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