Position

Position on the Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI)

05/01/2023

The Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine constituted the most recent challenges to Europe’s economy and continue to undermine the functioning of the Single Market and its recovery efforts. Several European-led initiatives have been put in place to mitigate the resulting social and economic impact of these crises and allowed businesses to adapt to long-lasting disruption.

Eurochambres welcomes the European Commission’s initiative to put in place an instrument that seeks to guarantee the integrity of the Single Market in times of crises and improve the bloc’s preparedness against future vulnerabilities. Institutional leadership and constant engagement with market operators during emergencies are key to restoring trust in the Single Market.

However, the current proposal risks creating legal uncertainty for businesses especially those that are on the front-line during emergency periods, while its added value for the well-functioning of the Single Market remains to be demonstrated. The Commission must not overburden market operators with complex reporting obligations, cumbersome approval procedures nor punitive sanctions. Chambers call on EU lawmakers to be more ambitious and remove unjustified barriers affecting the functioning of the Single Market at all times, as the most appropriate preparation for crisis situations.