BRUSSELS – On May 19-20, the European Commission continued the series of seminars marking the twentieth anniversary of its institution building instrument, TAIEX. This unique event provided a platform for lively discussion and exchange of best practice around market surveillance for more than hundred officials from the Western Balkans, Turkey, the European Neighbourhood Policy countries and EU Member States.
“I appreciate that this seminar gathered so many people from different countries” said Shlomi Avisror, Market surveillance team manager in the Israeli Ministry of Economy. “In Israel, we are trying to open our market and remove the barriers to increase trade with the EU but at the same time we are also keen to protect our citizen. We are learning from each other and that is also why I am asking so many questions.”
As EU Presidency for the first semester 2017 Malta was keen to use this event as one of the curtain raisers for this important role ahead. During the opening of the seminar, congratulating the European Commission on the 20 anniversary of the TAIEX, Hon Dr Ian Borg, Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Presidency 2017 said that “Such experience [enriches] public administrations with solid foundations with regards to informed strategies, improved legislation, enhanced institutional capacity, modernisation of practices and new models of work, resulting in a positive behavioural change towards the EU acquis”.
European Commission representatives, Dr Elena Grech, Head of EC Representation in Malta and Heike Gerstbrein, Head of Institution Building TAIEX, Twinning Unit underscored the importance of well-functioning administrative structures to ensure consumers’ protection and workers’ safety.
Since trade is neither only national nor European but international, market surveillance is a global endeavour. After presenting the legal basis, the experts focused on the practical aspects that are required for products’ risk assessment. They also presented EU best practice when it comes to the structure of market surveillance authority, the effective execution of inspections and joint actions that are carried out between EU countries.
For the participants the meeting proved to be extremely helpful in getting information on how to align their legislation with EU, how to set up their national authorities and how to practice day-to-day market surveillance.
To mark the 20 years of its creation, TAIEX is organising a series of five seminars in the EU Member States. These events are meant to bring together Member State officials which previously benefited from TAIEX and are now sharing their expertise with beneficiaries or partner countries on a defined topic.