The European Commission convened a first meeting with Member States as part of the new Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET) to discuss the urgent need to allow the free flow of goods such as face masks, medical supplies and food across the EU.
Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said:
The coronavirus outbreak has made it crystal clear that no country can fight this virus alone. Europe needs to act together with solidarity. Restrictions endanger this solidarity and prevent essential goods from reaching those who need them most. The Single Market is the backbone of our joint response and we need decisive action to lift any restrictions undermining it.
The creation of SMET was announced in the Commission's Single Market Enforcement Action Plan on 10 March in the context of the industrial strategy. The Task Force was envisaged as a platform for Member States and the Commission to work together to ensure better compliance with Single Market rules.
This first meeting kick-started the work of the new Task Force in light of the urgency of issues hampering the correct functioning of the Single Market, mainly intra-EU export restrictions of vital protective, medical and medicinal supplies, border controls and the need to increase production of essential equipment. This also aims at implementing the clear guidance of Europe's leaders given at the European Council of 26 March to remove all internal bans or restrictions to the free movement of goods. The task force will be convened on a regular basis to discuss issues concerning enforcement issues in the Single Market.
- Publication date
- 8 April 2020