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Parliamentary questions
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24 March 2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Geert Bourgeois
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Preserving the internal market and free trade during the Covid-19 crisis

The Covid-19 outbreak is seriously imperilling free movement within the internal market. For public health reasons, crossing of borders is being made more difficult or prevented. At the same time, it is essential, for example in the interests of supplying hospitals, businesses and shops, that the principles of the internal market should be respected as fully as possible.

In parallel, this health crisis will have an impact on the external trade of our European businesses. There is a risk that disproportionate measures in countries outside the EU will seriously impede or halt exports to the export markets concerned.

1. How will the Commission, as the guardian of the Treaties, prevent Member States from retreating and allowing protectionism to gain the upper hand at this time (for example by means of an active enforcement policy against disproportionate measures, guidelines, sharing of best practices, etc.)?

2. Is the Commission also looking strategically to the future, to prevent the current restrictive national measures from becoming more permanently established, eroding the cornerstone of the EU – the internal market – on a lasting basis?

3. What safeguard measures can the Commission take on the basis of WTO rules or existing free trade agreements to guarantee access to export markets for our European businesses?

Original language of question: NL
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