By Marica Micallef
On the 19th of September, the EU published a press release entitled “Crisis-proofing the Single Market: equipping Europe with a robust toolbox to preserve free movement and availability of relevant goods and services.” If the EU wants to be equipped, then it means that it wants to be strengthened and given more powers. From what we are witnessing, equipping the EU is definitely not a beneficial move.
Here, it states that it has presented a draft crisis governance framework about the “new Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI)”, which “aims to preserve the free movement of goods, services and persons and the availability of essential goods and services in the event of future emergencies, to the benefit of citizens and businesses across the EU.”
While they say that the Single Market has proven to be their most valuable asset in crisis management, they claim that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted structural flaws that limit the EU’s ability to respond to emergency situations in a coordinated and effective manner. Thus they concluded that unilateral actions exacerbated the crisis and disproportionately impacted SMEs.
“Executive-Vice President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said: ”The COVID-19 crisis made it clear: we must make our Single Market operational at all times, including in times of crisis. We must make it stronger. We need new tools that allow us to react fast and collectively. So that whenever we face a new crisis, we can ensure that our Single Market remains open and that goods of vital importance remain available to protect European people. The new Single Market Emergency Instrument makes it possible.””
As usual, they have to blame something so that they can bring forth their agenda. It is either Covid-19 or the Ukraine conflict or Climate Change or humanity itself.
Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “In the sequence of crises of the past few years, we worked hard to preserve a smoothly functioning Single Market, keep our borders and supply chains open and ensure the availability of products and services that our citizens needed. But we must be better prepared to anticipate and respond to the next crisis. Rather than relying on ad hoc improvised actions, the Single Market Emergency Instrument will provide a structural answer to preserve the free movement of goods, people and services in adverse times. The SMEI will ensure better coordination with Member States, help pre-empt and limit the impact of a potential crisis on our industry and economy, and equip Europe with tools that our global partners have and that we lack.”
The press release states that the Single Market Emergency Instrument establishes a well-balanced crisis management framework to identify different threats to the Single Market and ensure its smooth functioning by “creating a crisis governance architecture for the Single Market”, “proposing new actions to address threats to the Single Market” and, “allowing last-resort measures in an emergency.”
The last goal is very important. It states that under extraordinary circumstances [like Covid19 and the Ukraine conflict], “and only when the emergency mode has already been activated, the Commission may also make use of tools which will require a separate activation step. In this case, the Commission may issue targeted information requests to economic operators, which can be made binding. It may also ask them to accept priority rated orders for crisis-relevant products, in response to which firms must either comply or explain the grave reasons justifying refusal.” [meaning, they must comply that what the EU orders.]
It is clear that the European Commission is seeking emergency powers to force companies to obey to its orders, to make key products that the same EU dictates, and to stockpile goods, dictated by the same EU as well in a crisis. Malta, being a colony of the EU, has to continue to bow in submission.
“History reminds us that dictators and despots arise during times of severe economic crisis” – Robert Kiyosaki.