The functioning of the European Economic Area must be guaranteed in times of emergency and the availability of crisis-relevant goods and services safeguarded. The three EEA EFTA States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, highlight this need for a coordinated crisis response in the Single Market in their joint EEA EFTA Comment submitted to the European Commission on 19 April 2023. EEA EFTA Comments are one of the tools used by the EEA EFTA States to participate in shaping EU policies, programmes and legislation.
The proposed Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI) is a crisis governance framework that provides new tools enabling the EU to react fast and collectively to preserve the free movement of goods, services, and persons during future emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to strengthen the ability to respond to emergencies in a coordinated manner across the EEA.
The EEA EFTA States welcome the proposed EU Regulation. However, the EEA EFTA States raise concerns over the proposal’s broad scope and call upon the European Parliament and Council to further define what circumstances constitute a crisis. They also highlight that the principle of proportionality should be respected and recommend that the Commission explain further how national authorities should react when each of the SMEI modes is triggered.
The EEA EFTA States encourage the European Parliament and Council to guarantee the EEA EFTA States full participation in the proposed SMEI Advisory Group, albeit without the right to vote, to ensure the good functioning of the Single Market. They also propose that the reference to the EEA EFTA States as observers be deleted as their participation should not be regulated directly in a legal act but rather in a Joint Committee Decision if incorporated into the EEA Agreement. Read the full text of the EEA EFTA Comment here.
A full list of EEA EFTA Comments is available here.
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