EU Industrial Plan is too late, too little

Car in a factory

Today, the European Commission presented its "Green Deal Industrial Plan". The EPP Group welcomes this plan, but regrets that it did not come earlier and that it will have limited effect. The EPP Group has consistently advocated for industrial competitiveness to be a greater political priority and points out that "regulation only" will be insufficient to facilitate the industry's transition to carbon neutrality.

MEP Christian Ehler, EPP Group spokesman for industry says: "With today's plan, the European Commission initiates the beginning of its own end. At last, the Commission discovers its neglected 'deal promise' in the Green Deal. This should have already happened four years ago when the Green Deal was presented. The Commission has delivered on the Covid 19-response and on Fitfor55. However, now it is clear that the Commission has reached its intellectual and political limits when trying to make European industry competitive again."

"The challenge by the American Inflation Reduction Act demonstrates that the regulatory approach of Timmerman's Green Deal has immense limitations. The Commission is unable to stop its regulation-centred machinery. This is evident in the overly descriptive, non-technology neutral approach to hydrogen, which will destroy any EU competitiveness compared to the US and China. With the Industrial Emissions Directive, the Commission is yet again strangling our industry to near-death, eliminating investment incentives in Europe for large corporations, but also for small and medium sized enterprises. Our Industry is facing a very difficult transition on the way to carbon neutrality. Europe needs to continuously focus on our 2030 ambitions but must strictly avoid additional burden for our industry. We need to end the liar´s poker that reaching all desired sustainability goals while maintaining European competitiveness without any efforts for it is feasible", Ehler stresses.

"We welcome the Commission´s attempt to coordinate the various existing financial instruments in terms of collective use for a better outcome. Such coordination will have a greater impact than a potential new European Solidarity Fund devoid of EU budget support. The announced competitiveness check is also positive, but why was it not done before? It speaks for itself that the Commission does not tackle classical parameters of competitiveness for European industries, like productivity. In addition, the sole concentration on clean-tech technologies is simplified, does not paint the full picture and neglects that Europe needs to be fit for the digital age", Ehler says.

"While the Commission now tries to solve the Deal part of the European Green Deal, we are still missing the second pillar: the digital transition. Underfinancing of research and innovation in Europe and in European industry itself remains also unmentioned. We need greater support for research and innovation in Europe, this also needs to be part of the deal" emphasises Ehler.  

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States

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