Europe: EU Commission presents new crisis management measures

Today the EU Commission is presenting new measures to deal with crises such as the corona pandemic or Russia's war against Ukraine.

Europe: EU Commission presents new crisis management measures

Today the EU Commission is presenting new measures to deal with crises such as the corona pandemic or Russia's war against Ukraine.

According to a draft law that has already been made public, it should be possible in the future, for example, to make production specifications for companies in case of doubt. EU states could also be required to create reserves of important goods. However, it is still unclear whether the proposed law will be presented in this form.

The project is also intended to prevent problems caused by the corona pandemic, such as traffic jams for kilometers due to closed borders and the separation of family members. On the economic side, functioning supply chains are one of the most important functions to be maintained in the future.

Von der Leyen advises against "micro regulations".

After the drafts became known, the head of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, emphasized the need to expand supply chains. But she also said: "I would very clearly refrain from making micro-regulations. That is not the job of the European Commission." Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton believes the economy is seeing the end of an era. The Frenchman recently announced that the longstanding belief in production processes tailored to tight timeframes, geographic specialization and long supply chains is outdated.

In politics and business, the echo is divided. Many support, better collusion and more elaborate contingency plans. The creation of an emergency instrument is the right answer to the experiences during the Covid pandemic, said Peter Adrian, President of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the German Press Agency.

question of entrepreneurial freedom

"German companies handle more than half of their imports and exports with other EU countries," says Adrian. They are dependent on the European internal market functioning smoothly even in times of crisis. For him, however, possible production specifications are an encroachment on entrepreneurial freedom.

Nicola Beer (FDP), Vice President of the EU Parliament, also praises parts of the plans, but is critical of possible information obligations for companies. The CDU MEP Andreas Schwab made a similar statement. The Chair of the Internal Market Committee of the EU Parliament and Green politician, Anna Cavazzini, would like greater protection for freedom of travel in crises.

More guidelines for states and companies in crises

To protect the common internal market, the European Commission wants to give companies and EU countries less scope to go it alone in the event of a crisis. Specifically, it should be possible to ban measures that restrict freedom of travel, or, in extreme cases, to make binding specifications for companies - for example, to give priority to certain orders, as the Brussels authorities announced on Monday. "The Covid 19 crisis has made it clear that we must make our internal market work at all times, even in times of crisis," said EU Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager.

A number of countries had reintroduced border controls, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. Huge traffic jams, for example, sometimes disrupted supply chains. Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton stressed: "We need to be better prepared to anticipate and respond to the next crisis." The EU states and the EU Parliament must now discuss the proposals. Before they can become binding, both institutions have to negotiate a compromise.

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