Understanding eForms 

For the past few months, eForms have set a new standard for how we publish a tender. We understand that this approach might take some time to get used to. If you’re finding these new publication forms a bit challenging, don’t worry. We’re here to guide you through it. 

In this article, Julien Louvrier, our Product Manager of eForms implementation, provides you with all the ins and outs regarding eForms. From the context and the European Commission’s envisioned goals, to our platform’s compatibility. So, whether you're a seasoned professional or new to using eForms, let’s dive in together.   

[Read Julien’s previous blog here]

The reason behind eForms

With eForms, the European Commission provides a tailorable set of notices that can be used to advertise all kinds of tenders at both national and European levels across EU and EEA countries. 

The main envisioned goal of the European Commission is to gain more control over European tender data, and to create more data points. The idea is to support member states make well-informed and data-driven decisions about their public spending. In addition, eForms, according to the European Commission, will: 

  • Increase transparency;

  • Help identify corruption;

  • Support buyers in dividing their large projects into smaller parts for improved accessibility for smaller businesses to public procurement;

  • Make it easier for businesses and organisations to find procurement notices corresponding to their industry and location;


Since eForms have only been in operation for a few months, it's premature to determine whether these goals have been achieved and whether they have offered any improvements.

The challenge of launching eForms

eForms needed to be implemented in national eProcurement systems across Europe, but also tailored to meet each nation’s specific requirements. This means they were not off-the-shelf legislation that policymakers could hand over for implementation. Instead, national authorities had to sit down with the stakeholders to decide how various attributes of eForms would be implemented locally. 

While Members States were considering how to tailor eForms to their needs, the Publications office of the European Union was developing the new forms' technical specifications. These specifications were still in the making when system providers such as Mercell had to start to work on the implementation. The eForms’ technical specifications continued to evolve along the way, and are still not finished. 

eForms’ rollout amid uncertainty

The transition to eForms introduced a significant amount of new information, including new fields, new rules, and new notices. This shift was marked by uncertainty, as during the initial rollout of eForms, not all member states had already determined which fields would be mandatory or optional, and in countries where eForms was to be used for advertising below threshold procurements, the authorities had to manage without the specifications from the Commission. 

We understand that as a buyer, this meant a considerable amount of new information for you to process. It requires a constant effort to navigate through these continual changes and to stay up to date with the latest specifications. This applies not only to us while we ensure our systems remain compliant, but also to you as a buyer, having to effectively manage and adapt to these complexities.    

However, there is now a better understanding of the mandatory fields in eForms for above-threshold procurements. The European Commission has provided a comprehensive overview of all the various fields, which you can find here. 

Ensuring our platform’s compliance with the eForms directive

In August 2023 in Finland, in October 2023 in the rest of Europe, we introduced the Mercell Notice Editor. This brand-new interface gives you access to all the forms defined by the eForms regulation and ensures you can publish compliant notices. It features the “My Checklist”-widget which guides you through the required fields and supports you until the notice is ready for publication. The status of your notice is visible at all times so that you can safely confirm its state of readiness.

Since this module has gone live, we have continuously improved our grasp of eForms' required fields and rules. We have not only ensured that buyers can continue to publish their procurements, but we have also focused on enhancing your experience in the Notice Editor:

  • The translations have been improved;

  • The navigation of errors has been refined;

  • And more importantly, we are continuously upgrading the rules, the fields and the code lists based on the regular releases made by the Publications office.

Upcoming enhancements to Mercell’s solution

As eForms are relatively recent, they require constant updates. This isn’t just the case for our systems, but it’s a reality across the entire European Union. These are some of the latest enhancements in the Notice Editor: 

  1. We have upgraded the responsiveness of the Notice Editor to be fully functional on smaller laptops, tablets, and larger mobile phones, allowing you to use the Notice Editor whenever and wherever needed.

  2. The display of time zones is being improved in eForms, which facilitates the validation of dates and times.

  3. The possibility of copying data from one lot to another to reduce the burden of entering the same values multiple times is being introduced as a beta feature in Finland and Sweden.

  4. We’re also focusing on the development of pre-filled fields. Currently, not all fields you might expect to be automatically populated are set up this way.  Our ambition is to have as many fields as possible automatically filled in, thereby reducing manual entry and minimising potential errors, which is a significant time-saver.


We are proud to share that the module is becoming more intuitive and user-friendly. Our current focus is on improving the help texts and tooltips to ensure a smoother experience while filling in eForms. 


What the future holds

We’re committed to continuously improving and optimising our services and products. This year’s prime focus is to keep upgrading the rules governing the notices based on the Publications office’s latest releases. We are currently rolling out eForms 1.10. We will also implement the fields introduced by the amending regulation around the International Procurement Instrument (IPI) and the Foreign Subsidy Regulation (FSR).  

Despite the various challenges, eForms have the potential to transform the way we publish tenders. Their implementation is more than just a procedural change, it's a step towards a more transparent and efficient system paving the way for a more open and accessible public sector. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I be sure that I have filled all the required fields in the eForm? 

You can fill out the eForm with confidence by utilizing the “My Checklist” feature in the Notice Editor. It efficiently guides you through every step, highlighting mandatory fields and tasks, and groups required fields by lots for easy navigation. With this checklist at your side, every essential field will be addressed, streamlining your form-filling experience and ensuring complete accuracy.

How does eForms differ from the previous method of advertising tenders?

eForms differ from the previous standard in that they are designed for digital use, not for printing and manual completion. These forms are intended to be automatically generated by tendering platforms, aligning with the Commission's vision of "digital by design."

Looking to create and publish tenders?