Government submits its position on Single Market Emergency Instrument to Parliament
The purpose of the Single Market Emergency Instrument is to strengthen the preparedness and functioning of the internal market in crises. The proposal includes measures on cooperation and information exchange as well as joint procurement and strategic reserves. The Government supports the strengthening of crisis resilience and coordination, but it also has some reservations concerning the proposal.
The Government submitted to Parliament a Union communication concerning its position on the Commission’s proposal on 27 October 2022.
In September 2022, the Commission published a proposed legislative package on the Single Market Emergency Instrument. The proposal aims to ensure the functioning of the internal market, i.e. the free movement of goods, services and people, in crises. The proposal was motivated by lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, during which businesses and citizens suffered from border closures and disruptions in the internal market.
“The Government supports the objectives of the Commission’s proposal. However, the measures must be proportionate and the Member States must be responsible for their own preparedness. The basic principles of our national security of supply system must be maintained and its operation cannot be impaired,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen.
Commission proposes common measures for crises
The Commission’s objective is to strengthen the EU’s resilience and improve the preparedness of the internal market for different types of crises and disruptions in supply and demand. The emergency instrument would enable a rapid response to emergencies and crises that threaten the functioning of the internal market. The availability of critical goods needed to deal with the crisis could be safeguarded through joint procurement, for example.
The proposal would strengthen the exchange of information, coordination, cooperation and solidarity in the EU as the Member States adopt the measures in crisis situations. The Commission’s proposal also includes means to improve the access to information of citizens, consumers and economic operators in emergencies at both the national and EU level.
The package also includes a proposal for a regulation and a directive that would allow exemptions to harmonised product rules during emergency. The aim is to secure and speed up the market access of machines, equipment, personal protective equipment, fertilisers and construction products, among other things.
Government supports the proposal’s objectives with certain reservations
The Government supports the proposal’s objective to strengthen the EU’s resilience and the measures to improve coordination and cooperation between the Member States and the Commission. The Government also supports joint EU procurement.
The Commission’s proposal includes measures to ensure the availability of strategic products and services during the vigilance mode. The Government has reservations about the proposal that would obligate Member States to stockpile certain goods and draws critical attention to strong market inventions affecting economic operators. According to the Government, market-based solutions are the most effective means to prevent problems in the availability of products or services.
The Government also states that the relationship between the proposal and other EU provisions on crisis preparedness and national security of supply systems should be clarified. It must be ensured that EU regulation does not undermine the functioning of the national security of supply system. The Member States should be responsible for their own preparedness in future too. The definition of a crisis must be specified to apply only to exceptional crisis situations, and the vigilance mode and emergency mode could be declared under strict conditions.
Parliament decides on Finland’s final position
The Government prepares Union communications on those matters to be decided by the EU, which, due to their content, would fall within the competence of Parliament if Finland were not a member of the EU. A communication describes the essential content and effects of the proposal and the Government’s position on the matter. Based on it, Parliament will form Finland’s position on the Commission’s proposal.
The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament are currently discussing the proposed regulation. Once both have formulated their positions, they will begin trilogue negotiations with the Commission. The three bodies will preliminarily agree on the text of the regulation, after which each of them will adopt the text in accordance with the rules of procedure.
Emily Strohm, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 295 047 160
Hannele Timonen, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 141