EU Recovery: Commissioner Breton opens talks with Member States on removing barriers in the Single Market

Yesterday, Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, opened the first formal meeting with Member States as part of the new Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET), which will work on addressing barriers in the Single Market. The Commissioner called on Member States to work together to ensure better implementation and enforcement of common rules and strengthen the Single Market’s role in supporting the recovery of the European economy. During the meeting, Member States presented a series of obstacles to the completion of the single market, which will feed into the Commission’s prioritisation of addressing systemic broader mapping of barriers and help to inform continued joint efforts to ensure their effective removal. Commissioner Breton said: “The coronavirus pandemic has clearly shown how interrelated our economies are. As the EU embarks on a clear path to recovery, we need to work collectively to remove existing barriers and prevent new ones from arising in our Single Market. A well-functioning Single Market is our best asset to help European businesses find new opportunities, strengthen key ecosystems of our economy and support European solidarity.” The creation of SMET was announced in the Commission’s Single Market Enforcement Action Plan on 10 March in the context of the industrial strategy. It is envisaged as a platform for Member States and the Commission to work together to address implementation and enforcement of Single Market rules. The outbreak of the coronavirus brought new urgency in launching the task force and a first informal meeting took place on 7 April, to address intra-EU export restrictions of vital protective, medical and medicinal supplies and other restrictions to the free movement of goods. Yesterday’s first formal meeting, attended by 27 national representatives and high level Commission officials, marks the first of regular meetings to address broader law implementation and enforcement issues.