EUROCHAMBRES has expressed support for the European Commission’s efforts to preserve the free movement of goods and essential services within the Single Market during the crisis.
Public health and safety must of course be priority number one during this exceptional period and the circulation of products across borders has a key role to play in that. In a letter to European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, EUROCHAMBRES report some unintended consequences of newly introduced internal border management measures for the availability of goods and essential services. The association of European Chambers also calls on the Commission to ensure that Member States respect their obligations to give notification of all border restrictions measures introduced.
EUROCHAMBRES President Christoph Leitl explained: ‘Europe is currently at the centre of the COVID-19 epidemic, so Europe must respond consistently and effectively. The single market is a powerful tool to help tackle this human welfare crisis and will also be crucial for our social and economic recovery, so it must continue to function as efficiently as possible.’
Travel restrictions and social confinement measures inevitably have an impact on the functioning of the single market, but EUROCHAMBRES underlines the need to avoid unnecessary new obstacles. Chambers highlight in particular challenges encountered by drivers of heavy goods vehicles due to lengthy border delays and confusion over authorisation documents required by cross-border service providers and frontier workers.
President Leitl added: ‘There is no playbook for a crisis of this scale and intensity, so we must work together across Europe – public authorities, businesses, consumers and citizens – to chart a path through these difficult times.’
EUROCHAMBRES – The Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry represents over 20 million enterprises in Europe – 98% of which are SMEs – through members in 44 countries and a European network of 1700 regional and local Chambers.