Flemish MEP named chair of single market committee


New European parliamentarian Petra De Sutter will over the committee tasked with consumer protection and the single market

Health is ‘guiding principle’

Petra De Sutter of Flanders’ Groen party has been elected chair of the IMCO committee of the European parliament. The committee’s work covers three policy areas: customs, consumer protection and the single market, including the digital single market.

The committee oversees the free movement of goods and services across the EU members states and considers the impact of goods and services on health, safety and the environment, among other concerns.

“I am proud to be named the chair of this committee,” De Sutter (pictured) told VRT. “We will oversee all new products that come on to the market in Europe. As a doctor, I will ensure that we never lose sight of our guiding principle, our health and welfare.”

De Sutter is head of reproductive medicine at Ghent University. She entered politics in 2014, when she ran on the Groen party list as a European candidate. The party did not win enough seats, and she was asked to sit in the federal parliament instead.

She also became a key member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where she has served as the chair of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs. She was also a member of the Committee on Migration as well as subcommittees involving integration and public health.

Following the elections in May, she is now a member of the European parliament, where she will head the IMCO. While IMCO’s policy areas tend to be technical in nature, they can also be sensitive, she told VRT. “It can lend a lot of leverage to the green transition, to a more circular economy, by, for instance, implementing a ban on planned obsolescence of products.”

Photo: Nicholas De Cocker/BELGA