Mon Sep 19th, 2022 at 07:50:09 PM EST
Polico.eu.com | EU unveils supply chain emergency powers, 19 Sep
The European Commission set out a new emergency tool to protect supply chains in times of crisis that would give the EU executive new powers, including requiring the stockpiling of critical goods and telling companies to prioritize some orders [of "crisis-relevant goods"].
"This instrument is the opposite of a planned economy," Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said, adding that its goal is not to constantly monitor economic players. This seems to address the fear voiced by some EU countries that the text goes too far in allowing the Commission to adopt emergency measures.
The proposals will now be discussed by the European Parliament and Council of the European Union. After adoption by the co-legislators, the Regulations will enter into force on the twentieth day following their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union....
The full text of the proposal is not yet published. The press release (linked below) is nearly as abstruse as the EU SARS-CoV-1 pandemic response, from repatriation of EU27 nationals and medical surveillance to vaccine inventory control and COVID-19-EU Solidarity Fund disbursement to "countries".
EC | Crisis-proofing the Single Market: equipping Europe with a robust toolbox to preserve free movement and availability of [crisis-]relevant goods and services, 29 Sep
Today, the Commission is presenting the new Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI). This crisis governance framework aims to preserve the free movement of goods, services and persons and the availability of essential goods and services in the event of future emergencies, to the benefit of citizens and businesses across the EU. While the Single Market has proven to be our best asset in crisis management, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted structural shortcomings hampering the EU's ability to effectively respond to emergency situations in a coordinated manner. Unilateral measures caused fragmentation, worsening the crisis and affecting particularly SMEs....
EC | Questions and Answers: Single Market Emergency Instrument
1. Why is a Single Market Emergency Instrument necessary? ...
2. What is the relationship between SMEI and other EU crisis response instruments?...
3. What are the main measures in SMEI?
SMEI aims to establish a comprehensive crisis-response architecture, relating to different levels of impacts to the Single Market. This will be based on the following main components:
• an advisory group;
• framework for contingency planning;
• framework for Single Market vigilance mode;
• framework for Single Market emergency mode.
4. What is the role of the advisory group and how will it be set up? ... the advisory group will assist the Commission in assessing the scope of the threat or of the crisis and the need to activate the Single Market vigilance or emergency modes respectively. The advisory group will also analyse the relevant information gathered by the Member States, the Commission or from economic operators.
DIRECTIVE 2004/18/EC TITLE I, Art. 1. Definitions5. What measures are foreseen under the framework for contingency planning?...
The terms 'contractor', 'supplier' and 'service provider' mean any natural or legal person or public entity or group of such persons and/or bodies which offers on the market, respectively, the execution of works and/or a work, products or services.
The term 'economic operator' shall cover equally the concepts of contractor, supplier and service provider. It is used merely in the interest of simplification.
An economic operator who has submitted a tender shall be designated a 'tenderer'. One which has sought an invitation to take part in a restricted or negotiated procedure or a competitive dialogue shall be designated a 'candidate'.
6. What is the vigilance mode and what measures does it foresee?...
7. What is the emergency mode and what measures does it foresee? ...The emergency mode establishes principles to be followed by Member States in facilitating and, if needed, re-establishing free movement, while banning Member States from adopting specific restrictions to the free movement of crisis-relevant goods and services, unless these are a justified last-resort measure. ...
8. What are the dual activation measures foreseen under emergency mode? ...
9. How will the vigilance and emergency modes be activated and deactivated?
10. How will SMEI amend harmonised product legislation to enhance crisis response?
...The new proposals aim to introduce such a possibility by amending 14 Directives and 5 Regulations. These 19 product areas include for example machinery equipment, fertilisers [?] and construction materials.
The amendments which this Proposal aims to introduce to the relevant frameworks cover the following aspects: [1-11]
The conclusion is interesting in that the proposal errect barriers to achieving "fast reactions and response" in the form of remote EU business managers, not least of which "platform workers".
A number of different provisions of SMEI could have been used during the COVID-19 crisis. Firstly, had SMEI been in place, it would have provided a transparent coordination mechanism with a focus on the impact of the crisis on the Single Market, which would have streamlined the coordination between the Commission and the Member States on free movement of goods, services and persons. For example, it would have provided for fast reactions and response to measures such as intra-EU export restrictions for personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves
With the use of provisions on transparency, SMEI would have given the Commission and the economic operators a very good overview of any free movement restrictions, allowing them to save resources spent for looking for information and compliance costs.
It would have been clearer to the Member States which travel restrictions they should not put in place at the time of the pandemic (such as travel restrictions applicable for health care workers, health care service providers...
The work week is young, so it appears the PR is the one source of information that reporters are will to publish. An exception, culled by DW, is a statement issued by an "economic operator" associations whose, members presumably, frequently entertain states' procurement agents and permit process systems under normal conditions.
EiroChambres | Ask for re-balancing of priorities and more legal certainty
...While the creation of an advisory group is foreseen to assist the Commission in defining whether a situation actually constitutes a crisis, there are far too many unknowns as regards to how the different emergency modes will be decided upon....