The Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, has indicated in a statement to the press that he is seriously considering a proposal by the French Government that would give greater access for small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) to public contracts. This would require the EU to seek a derogation from the World Trade Organisation in relation to its Government Procurement Agreement which would favour small and medium-sized enterprises. The US has already obtained such a derogation and has enacted the Small Business Act which sets aside a minimum percentage of public contracts or sub-contracts for SMEs. However, before any such steps can be taken, Mr Mandelson will have to persuade his colleagues in the Commission, in particular Internal Market Commissioner Mr McCreevy who is in charge of procurement policy and legislation.