Delivering masks across borders: EU Single Market protecting citizens’ health
The continuous supply of essential goods and vital medical and protective equipment within the Single Market is key to addressing the COVID-19 crisis.
The chairs of Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, Petra De Sutter (Greens/EFA, BE), and Transport Committee, Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, FR), welcomed today’s rapid decision of EU Transport ministers to support green lane supply routes (giving priority to transport of essential goods such as food as well as vital medical and protective equipment), as suggested by MEPs and the Commission. The aim of the new and urgent COVID-19 measures is to protect health and keep goods and essential services available within the EU’s internal market.
“Completely closing down borders might seem like the safest way to protect our citizens, but we all depend on imports from other member states to keep our supplies uninterrupted. Guaranteeing the unobstructed transport of essential goods such as food and guaranteeing an uninterrupted supply of vital medical and protective equipment, ensures that this crisis will not turn into a catastrophe. We rely and we depend on each other when it comes to our public health”, said the Chair of the Internal Market Committee.
“Installing so-called ‘green lanes’ – especially for medical and protective equipment – is of utmost importance in the coming days and weeks”, stressed Ms de Sutter, referring to member states’ commitment on the supply of medical equipment.
Transport Committee Chair Karima Delli said that smooth border crossing and coordination between member states will be essential to overcome this crisis. “We have to find ways to keep our transport systems going and to reduce queues to save time and money. We stand ready to act together and quickly and we stand behind the drivers and the whole transport sector that is working tirelessly to keep the goods flowing during this crisis”, said the Chair.
“There is an urgent need to implement measures to end ghost flights. Airlines must be provided with guarantees on future slots. This is the only way to prevent empty flights in the EU,” she concluded.