Single Market Emergency Instrument: How the EU intends to protect the supply of member states from crises in the future

With a new "emergency instrument for the internal market", the EU Commission wants to better arm Europe against crises.

Single Market Emergency Instrument: How the EU intends to protect the supply of member states from crises in the future

With a new "emergency instrument for the internal market", the EU Commission wants to better arm Europe against crises. The draft law presented in Brussels on Monday is intended to prevent defects in strategically important products, such as masks and ventilators in the corona pandemic. Manufacturers could also be obliged to primarily supply Europe and not the USA or Asian countries.

The emergency instrument (Single Market Emergency Instrument, SMEI) is intended to prepare Europe for "extreme cases", as Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in Brussels. The EU should not need months again to ensure the supply of key goods, as was the case last time during the pandemic. At the same time, Brussels wants to make it easier for the whole EU to buy certain goods on the world market. Corona vaccines are a good example.

In crises, the Commission wants to activate a “monitoring mode”, the member states could then declare an “emergency”, giving Brussels special powers over the industry. The commission rejected the accusation of a "planned economy". The proposals are "exactly the opposite, because they ensure a functioning market," stressed EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

The Commission also wants to prevent the renewed interruption of supply chains. Border closures, such as those imposed by Germany and France at the beginning of the Corona crisis, are "poison for the internal market," emphasized Breton.

The regulation requires the approval of the European Parliament and the member states. Breton expressed confidence that the new law marking the 30th anniversary of the EU internal market can come into force next year.

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