The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional agreement on a new crisis coordination framework requiring Member States to be transparent on their crisis measures. This now needs to happen in practice.
The Internal Market Emergency and Resilience Act (IMERA), previously known as the Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI), will allow the European Commission to request vital information from companies in a crisis situation and subsequently assign them priority orders for essential goods and services.
The instrument will establish a new three-tier crisis preparedness system that will help coordinate activities and ensure supply of crisis-relevant goods in future emergencies.
IRU EU Director of Advocacy Raluca Marian said, “Crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine have put significant pressure on the commercial road transport sector. IMERA can help reinforce and prepare the European transport network in case of future emergencies. But we need to see this happen in practice.”
“Over recent weeks we have witnessed severe disruptions at intra-Schengen borders and within Member States due to farmer protests. This has led to an unsustainable situation, with blockages and attacks against professional truck drivers and their cargo. IRU hopes that IMERA will help address all types of crises, since it will force Member States to facilitate the cross-border movement of essential goods and services even in the case of movement restrictions,” she added.
Member States will also have to inform the Commission, companies and citizens of their crisis measures once they have adopted them. “We particularly welcome the increased transparency that IMERA introduces. Early information on expected and ongoing blockages is crucial for transport operators to be able to plan and re-route planning where possible and avoid disruptions in the logistics chain,” highlighted Raluca Marian.
“In addition to the provisions outlining measures in the event of a crisis, IMERA also allows the European Commission to conduct stress tests and simulations to anticipate and prepare ahead of time. We appreciate that transport operators are consulted during such tests,” she concluded.
The European Parliament and Council are now expected to endorse the provisional agreement in the coming weeks.