The EU wants to become a priority in case of crisis

The new European bill could compel or fine companies from the old continent to provide member states first.

Brussels on Monday presented a draft instrument to protect the EU’s internal market, including, if necessary, forcing producers of strategic goods to serve Europe preferentially. “In extreme situationsยป This leads to Shortage of essential itemsx, according to the draft text, the European Commission could require manufacturers to prioritize European orders over Chinese or American ones under penalty of penalty.

The measure, inspired by existing rules in the US, is considered a retaliatory weapon. “Our preference is to never use itInternal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said during a joint press conference with Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager. The idea is to prevent third-party states from blocking exports of strategic products to Europe, such as the US, which banned exports of anti-Covid vaccines during the pandemic.

The regulation still needs to be negotiated with the European Parliament and member states. It was announced in February 2021 by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who wanted to learn from the disruption to European supply chains caused by the pandemic.

Avoid restoring boundary resets

An awareness phase can be implemented if a shortage risk is identified for a strategic advantage, even before a crisis situation. The manufacturers involved must provide some strategic information, for example their production capabilities. At this point, the Commission wants to ask EU countries to set up strategic reserves. “Member States will be closely involved in all stages of the processsaid Margaret Vestager.

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The text also aims to limit restrictions on the movement of goods and people between member states. This is done to avoid re-establishing or requiring critical products such as surgical masks, which were erratically adopted by member states during the pandemic and exacerbated the crisis. In particular, it strengthens the obligations to notify Brussels of this kind of national decision. A blacklist of discriminatory measures contrary to the rules of the single market will also be drawn up to strengthen repression against offending states.

The draft regulation also plans to give the Commission the power to conduct collective procurement on behalf of EU countries, modeled on the case of anti-Covid vaccines. “Basically, the instrument implements this principle: In Europe, together we are strongerMEP Andreas Schwab (EPP, right) commented.


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