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Brussels Unveils Emergency Powers To Keep Goods Moving During Crisis Times

Brussels Unveils Emergency Powers To Keep Goods Moving During Crisis Times

EU countries could be banned from restricting the flow of critical products and services in times of crisis, according to new emergency powers proposed by the European Commission.

Brussels is keen to avoid a repeat of the unilateral and chaotic decisions taken during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when governments scrambled to secure masks, gloves and ventilators to protect their citizens from the virus.

In a matter of weeks, the EU's internal market, which is based on the free movement of people and goods, was fractured and upset by a rapid and often improvised succession of commercial checks and border closures. "The COVID-19 crisis showed our single market is not perfect. It's strong but not unbreakable," said Margrethe Vestager, the Commission's executive vice-president, while unveiling the draft legislation.

"A lack of coordination and transparency damaged our supplies and increased the shortages."  The proposed Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI) aims to strike a balance between the need to keep the single market working seamlessly while addressing collective threats and crises.

The overall goal is to replace ad-hoc decision-making with greater coordination and planning so as to minimise disruption for both citizens and companies.

Source: Euronews

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