Commission working to ‘ensure flow of essential goods’ across borders

The European Commission is working with member states to ensure the flow of essential goods across land borders.

In a statement on Friday, March 13, the commission outlined its strategy for dealing with the outbreak of the coronavirus Covid-19.

In addition to the announcement of a €37 billion investment package and a list of measures that EU member states can take effective action to limit economic damage caused by the impact of Covid-19, the European authority also focused on security of supplies.

Solidarity

The commission stressed that this public health emergency can “only be effectively managed through solidarity and Europe-wide coordinated solution”.

The commission called for member states to “act together to secure production, stocking, availability and rational use of medical protective equipment and medicines in the EU, openly and transparently, rather than taking unilateral measures that restrict the free movement of essential healthcare goods”.

The European Commission outlined that it is providing member states with guidance on how to put in place adequate control mechanisms to ensure security of supply.

In addition, an accelerated joint procurement procedure has been launched for such goods, with a recommendation on non CE-marked protective equipment issued.

The Covid-19 outbreak is having a major impact on European transport systems, given the close interlink of European supply chains, supported by an extensive network of freight services on land, at sea, and airborne.

Essential goods

The commission is working with member states to ensure the flow of essential goods across land borders, the authority’s statement stressed.

The international and European aviation industry has been particularly hit. Last week, the commission issued targeted legislation to temporarily alleviate airlines from the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule.

Under this rule, air carriers must use at least 80% of their airports slots within a given period in order to keep them within the corresponding period of the next year.

Finally, the commission stressed it is liaising with member states, international authorities and key EU professional associations to monitor the impact of the crisis on the tourism sector and coordinate support measures.