Today, the European Commission is presenting the first report on the work of the Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET). The report highlights the important role SMET has played in removing barriers introduced by some Member States during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure in particular the availability of essential medical supplies and protective equipment across the Single Market.
The Task Force also addressed restrictions that have challenged the functioning of the Single Market in the agri-food sector and restrictions affecting service providers. For instance, the Task Force succeeded in the removal of requirements for prior checks of professional qualifications in more than 160 professions. In addition, the report provides an overview of the working methods and actions taken by the Task Force so far and should serve as a basis for discussion on the future work of the Task Force.
Commissioner Thierry Breton, responsible for the Internal Market, said: “We set up the Single Market Task Force as a practical forum to find quick and tangible solutions with the Member States to make sure goods and services can flow freely within the EU. The Task Force has not only shown its value during the COVID pandemic, but has become a facilitator for businesses and citizens to fully benefit from the Single Market and resolve also structural barriers.”
This first SMET report will be presented to EU Ministers during the Competitiveness Council, taking place today. The Single Market Enforcement Task Force was set up following the Action Plan for Better Implementation and Enforcement of the Single Market adopted in March 2020 as part of the European Industrial Strategy. It has held regular meetings to identify and address priority barriers in the Single Market, to facilitate the removal of concrete obstacles hampering the freedom of our businesses and citizens to travel, live and do business in the EU. The SMET has contributed to improving the cooperation among national authorities, raising awareness about the central role of the Single Market in driving Europe's recovery and supporting the green and digital transitions of our economy.
- 29 september 2021