Members' Research Service By / July 11, 2017

Single market information tool (SMIT) [EU Legislation in Progress]

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by measures such as price discrimination based on residency, geo-blocking of online audio-visual content, or limited cross-border parcel delivery.

© cacaroot / Fotolia

Written by Cemal Karakas (3rd edition, updated on 6.5.2019),

compliance concept flowchart
© cacaroot / Fotolia

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes sold), and to address market failures in a more efficient way.

The SMIT, however, has raised some criticism in the Council and EP, inter alia, because of the Commission’s choice of the legal basis for the proposal. Parliament’s Legal Service stated in an opinion that the correct legal basis for the Commission proposal is Article 337 TFEU: a legal basis which gives no legislative role for the EP. On 12 July 2018, the IMCO committee adopted a report which would amend the proposal’s legal basis. The JURI committee subsequently adopted an opinion stating that the Commission’s proposal goes beyond the powers available under the proposed revised legal basis. This was initially due to be voted in plenary in October 2018, but was taken off the agenda. As the parliamentary term has concluded, the report has now lapsed.

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Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting out the conditions and procedure by which the Commission may request undertakings and associations of undertakings to provide information in relation to the internal market and related areas
Committee responsible: Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) COM(2017) 257
Rapporteur: Eva Maydell (EPP, Bulgaria) 2017/0087(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs: Maria Grapini (S&D, Romania)
Richard Sulík (ECR, Slovakia)
Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE, Sweden)
Dennis De Jong (GUE/NGL, the Netherlands)
Igor Šoltes (Greens/EFA, Slovenia)
Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz (EFDD, Poland)
Mylène Troszczynski (ENF, France)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Further steps dependent on decisions in new parliamentary term

voted in plenary 10 steps

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