go to home page | go to navigation | go to page content | go to contact | go to sitemap
Home > Cases > eProcurement Forum > e-PRIOR: eProcurement project at the European Commission

practice e-PRIOR: eProcurement project at the European Commission

e-PRIOR: eProcurement project at the European Commission

12525 Visits
| Comments |
starstarstarempty starempty starIn order to vote, you need to be logged in!

Acronym of the case:


Web address of the case:

Country of the case:

Belgium , EU Institutions

Posting Date:

11 July 2008

Last Edited Date:

28 February 2012


Pieter Breyne (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
e-PRIOR: eProcurement project at the European Commission Logobreynep's picture

Type of initiative

  • Project or service-imgProject or service

Case Abstract

e-PRIOR is the e-Procurement solution developed by the European Commission and funded by the former IDABC and current ISA programme, with goal to stimulate the implementation and re-use of interoperable systems in Europe.

e-PRIOR is a service-oriented platform, allowing the European Commission, the European Union Agencies and Institutions and their suppliers to exchange post-award documents by using web services or over the PEPPOL network. Large suppliers can use XML-based communication over the internet, while SMEs can use the Supplier Portal (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/informatics/supplier_portal/index_en.htm )

e-PRIOR has implemented the CEN/BII e-Procurement standards (e-Catalogues, e-Ordering and e-Invoicing)/

e-PRIOR is available in an open-source version - Open e-PRIOR - which aims at accelerating the implementation of e-Procurement by European Member States in general and the participation to the PEPPOL project in particular.

Description of the case

Start date - End date
July 2007 (Ongoing)
Date operational
September 2009
Target Users
Administrative | Business (industry) | Business (SME)
Target Users Description

The target group of e-PRIOR is

- the European Commission DGs, but also the EU Agencies and Institutions

- suppliers, receiving e-Orders and sending e-Invoices; this includes SMEs, who can use the Supplier Portal

- public administrations in EU Member States that can learn and leverage from this project, and in particular re-use Open e-PRIOR to connect to the PEPPOL network

- Other e-Invoicing, e-Procurement and standardization initiatives, such as CEN and PEPPOL


Policy Context and Legal Framework

e-Invoicing Directive 2001/115/EC, incorporated in the VAT Directive 2006/112/EC and replaced by the second VAT Invoicing Directive 2010/45/EU



Public e-Procurement context - see most recent developments, green paper and proposal for new directive on


Project Size and Implementation

Type of initiative
IT infrastructures and products
Overall Implementation approach
Public administration
Technology choice
Mainly (or only) open standards
Funding source
Public funding EU
Project size
Implementation: Not applicable/not available

Implementation and Management Approach

e-PRIOR is implemented using RUP@EC and is done through different iterations. So far, e-Invoicing, e-Catalogues and e-Ordering have been implemented and are in production. Large suppliers (or their service providers) are asked to connect to the e-PRIOR web services, while SMEs can use the Supplier Portal.

The rest of the full post-awarding procurement process is currently being implemented

  • Sourcing (requests for quotation)
  • Fulfilment (despatch advice)
  • Payment (reminder)

In the meantime, the feasibility of pre-award e-Procurement is being studied.

Technology solution

The name of this e-Procurement solution is e-PRIOR, an acronym for electronic PRocurement, Invoicing and ORdering. This solution allows lare suppliers to use web services for uploading and downloading XML messages: catalogues, orders, invoices, disputes, credit notes, etc.

SMEs can use the Supplier Portal.

The standard for formats and business processes is currently based on CEN/BII 2 specifications (see http://www.cen.eu/CEN/sectors/sectors/isss/activity/Pages/ws_bii.aspx), based on UBL 2.0.

An open-source version - Open e-PRIOR - is freely available on https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/software/openeprior/home

Impact, innovation and results


The main purpose of the project is to gain-real life experience with e-Procurement at the European Commission, and to share the lessons learnt and re-usable components with the EU Member States.

Through leading by example, the Commission wants to stimulate the adoption of e-Procurement in Europe.

Providing tools like Open e-PRIOR, will accelerate the participation of EU Member States' public administrations to the pan-European PEPPOL project and ultimately unlock the full potential of it.

Track record of sharing

The e-PRIOR booklets (General and Technical Overview) are available on https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/software/openeprior/document/information-and-communication-material

The Analysis of Business Requirements for eInvoicing in a Public Procurement Context is available at http://www.epractice.eu/en/library/288906

The demo movie of the prototype ("Basic Invoice") is available on YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azLeZIorrDs&fmt=18

The demo movie of e-PRIOR including "Invoice with Dispute" supporting e-Invoicing, disputes and credit notes is available on http://www.epractice.eu/en/tv/290845

The e-Catalogue Feasibility Study: http://www.epractice.eu/en/library/297017

The e-Catalogue Gap Analysis: http://www.epractice.eu/en/library/344054

The e-Catalogue Demo Movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHGI7re4Q_k

Lessons learnt

Major lesson learnt is that implementing e-Procurement is not about replicating or simulating paper processes, but about automating and optimizing processes, improving data quality and aligning customers' and suppliers' processes with each other.

We also learnt that collaboration with private sector (e.g. e-Invoicing service providers) has been very successful in terms of onboarding suppliers.

You may have the perfect technological solution, the change management aspect remains one of the crucial elements to make the project a real success.



Multimedia Content Select a Tab

There isn't any SlideShare for this case
There isn't any image for this case
There isn't any Video for this case


04 December 2009 | 13470 Visits | Rating: 3.7 (maximum:5)

Ultimately, the goald is to help stimulate the adoption of e-Invoicing in Europe.


07 December 2009 | 0 Visit | Rating: 5 (maximum:5)

Systems such as this one that is provides adoption to e-government applications are useful and we need such systems to widening the usage of e-government applications

In order to send a message you need to be registered at least one month and have earned more than 150 kudos.