EU Ministers To Discuss Internal Market Freedoms And Coordination In Crises

The plan previously presented by the European Commission to ensure the freedom of movement of goods, services, and people inside the EU single market in case of crises will be discussed by the Council of EU Ministers for Internal Market and Industry on September 29, according to meeting documents.

The European Commission presented its proposal for an emergency single market instrument (SMEI) on September 19, 2022, and ministers will hold an open discussion about it, according to their statement.

The European Trade Union Confederation has voiced opposition to this proposal because it sees a threat to the EU’s strike law in its implementation. According to the EC, the proposed emergency tool absolutely does not infringe with the freedom to strike, which the European Commission said is a fundamental right in the EU.

The EC underlined that SMEI is a crisis management system that seeks to protect the availability of basic products and services as well as the freedom of movement of people and things during future calamities.

The EC reported that during the pandemic, unilateral action by EU nations fragmented the single market and only made the issue worse. The EC suggests developing a « crisis management architecture » for the EU single market to keep an eye on the situation and coordinate responses in order to address potential overfeeding in the single market during future crises. Several regimes, including the last one—an emergency situation—could be included in this design.

In the case of a crisis with a « broad impact » on the single market of the union, the EU Council has the authority to activate this last regime. Free mobility inside the EU single market will be preserved when the emergency regime is introduced thanks to a « black list » of forbidden restrictions. In addition, the European Commission wants to provide itself the authority, in some circumstances, to demand that EU enterprises take orders for goods relevant to the crisis as a matter of priority.


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