Next year will be eventful for the European Union with European Parliament elections and the installation of a new European Commission. It is fair to question whether the ambitious agenda on greening the economy, which was the focus of the current European Commission, will continue.
In her State of the Union of 13 September, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen did not indicate whether she would lead the next European Commission, but many believe she will. Her experience and authority will be an important factor, as green plans are likely going to face tougher opposition.
The European economy is slowly, but steadily moving towards an economic recession and green policies are costly and hard to several parts of our economy. Just ask the car industry, energy suppliers, raw materials producers, the construction sector, a.o. Moreover, inflation in Europe is still very high and green measures are not going to make things cheaper.
Other than the European election, upcoming national elections in Poland and The Netherlands will already give us an indication on what voters think about Green Deal plans.
In her State of the Union speech, von der Leyen announced the Green Deal actions that the current European Commission intends to take during the remaining part of its mandate:
European Wind Power package to be presented soon.
A series of Clean Transition Dialogues with industry starting in September 2023. The aim will be to support the relevant sectors in their development and decarbonisation.
Budget allocated to the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP), to support the green industry.
Launch of a “strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture in the EU”.
More plans are being developed by the European Commission today. At the same time, in the wake of a weakening European industry, plans are developed to strengthen its competitiveness.
Whether any of these will see the day of light will partly depend on the voters who elect a new European Parliament in early June 2024. At the same time, governments in most member states will remain unchanged and it will be interesting to see whether they continue to support an ambitious Green Deal in economic downturn.
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