Proposed Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market

European companies face unfair competition from third country producers in the EU market, with subsidies granted by non-EU governments to companies operating in the Single Market having an increasingly negative impact on competition.

Considering this, ESMIG welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market.

ESMIG members provide products and services for mission critical infrastructures and risks of unfair competition are closely connected with the safety of the electricity and gas grids, privacy, and data security of Europe’s citizens. At the same time, smart technologies are essential for enabling the green and digital energy transition.

Energy management is critical for the EU’s strategic autonomy and its safety should be ensured.

ESMIG supports the European Commission’s proposal in Article 28 of the draft Regulation to introduce a mechanism of prior notification of foreign financial contributions in the context of public procurement procedures.

However, we are concerned with the proposal to apply this procedure only where the estimated value of the procurement is €250 million or more. Most of the public procurements for the roll-outs of smart meters in the European Union are below this threshold.

Therefore, multiple criteria should be defined, including “mission critical infrastructure” in addition to the threshold. That way, the Regulation would not only create a fair level-playing field, but also support the EU’s strategic autonomy and secure EU mission critical infrastructure.

We urge the European Institutions to ensure that this Regulation is fit for purpose and guarantees a level playing field in the internal market for these key industries for the European Union. The safety of mission critical infrastructure must be maintained.