In the event of crises such as the corona pandemic or the Russian war against Ukraine, the EU Commission wants to be able to set production targets for companies in the future. Specifically, it is about treating certain orders for the production of "crisis-relevant goods" preferentially, as can be seen from a draft law that is available to the German Press Agency.
First of all, companies should do this on a voluntary basis. However, if they do not accept the recommendations, the Commission could "in exceptional circumstances" oblige companies to give priority to certain orders. The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” had previously reported.
In extreme cases, it should also be possible for the EU states to create reserves of important goods. Here, too, it is initially unclear which goods are involved. The draft only states that goods and services of strategic importance are those that "are not diversifiable and non-interchangeable and are essential for the functioning of the internal market in strategically important areas of the economy".
However, there are still a few things that can change in the design. It has not yet been formally presented by the EU Commission. According to the current status, it is planned that Ursula von der Leyen's cabinet will make a decision in a good ten days. In addition, EU states and the EU Parliament as co-legislators would still have to negotiate a compromise. This usually takes several months, but in some cases significantly longer.
In general, the project provides for three phases: emergency planning, vigilance mode and emergency mode. Coercive measures for companies should only be possible once emergency mode has been declared. This can be the case, for example, if there have already been serious disruptions in the internal market. The emergency mode should also be limited to six months.
The CDU MP Andreas Schwaab told the medium "Europe.Table" that he welcomed the fact that the Commission was expanding the toolbox for crises. "Situations like at the beginning of the pandemic, when Germany prohibited the export of medical equipment to Italy and Hungary did not allow medical staff to leave the country, must not be repeated." However, he is critical of possible specifications for companies.