IMCO MEPs call on Commission to ramp-up monitoring against unjustified trade barriers

In an extraordinary meeting in Strasbourg, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the European Parliament (IMCO) has adopted an own initiative report of Polish ECR MEP Kosma Złotowski on combating non-tariff and non-tax barriers in the single market.

Unjustified barriers such as unfounded territorial restrictions, unnecessary language requirements and economic needs tests are aimed at isolating domestic markets and preventing the single market from functioning properly. According to the MEPs, the Commission should improve the monitoring of Member States’ in this regard, including legal notification obligation.

“We expect decisive action to defend enterprises and consumers in all Member States”, ECR rapporteur Kosma Złotowski said. “The single market is the greatest achievement of European integration, but attempts to dismantle it are increasing. Firms that sell their products or provide services cross-border are facing numerous administrative barriers, unnecessary bureaucratic requirements or are subject to burdensome controls. Small- and medium-sized enterprises from the countries of our region, especially transport companies and posting workers, are much more likely to fall victim to such practices.”

The report notes that most of the initiatives taken by the Commission to remove existing and most burdensome trade barriers are ineffective and many cross-border operators are often simply not aware of their existence. This especially concerns tools that allow for the quick resolution of disputes between businesses and Member States’ administrations, such as the problem-solving network SOLVIT or the Single Market Enforcement Task Force.

37 MEPs voted for the report, 7 were against and 1 MEP abstained. The plenary vote will take place during the EP session in January next year.

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