In delineating framework agreements, buyers should be aware of the effect of limited competition linked to repeated purchases of the same products by the same suppliers over a long period of time. It is therefore important that the benefit of establishing long-term partnerships is weighed against the advantage of opening up competition to potential new suppliers, in particular SMEs, in order to keep up with the continuous evolution of the market. Framework agreements should be concluded where the buyer needs to establish a strategic relationship with the supply chain over a long period of time, with suppliers able to adapt to the buyer`s requirements. The specifications and evaluation criteria shall be fixed in advance and may not be changed during the term of the agreement, from a period of at least 12 months to a maximum of 3 years. .