The European Green Deal Enters New Phase with Focus on Industrial Policy

In her annual State of the Union speech, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the European Green Deal is entering a new phase with a focus on industrial policy. The Green Deal, launched in December 2019, has been instrumental in placing the EU’s climate agenda at the center of the economy.

In her speech, von der Leyen emphasized that the EU will continue to support European industry throughout the transition to a greener economy. She referenced a package of legislation proposed earlier this year, which includes the Net-Zero Industry Act and the Critical Raw Materials Act. These measures aim to address concerns about the competitiveness of European industry, the impact of China’s dominance in certain sectors, and the availability of raw materials needed for the transition.

The European Commission President also announced the launch of a European Wind Power package, which will focus on skills, access to finance, and stable supply chains. The package aims to accelerate permitting and improve auction systems across the EU. Von der Leyen emphasized the importance of fair competition, expressing concern about “predatory practices” and “huge state subsidies” reducing the price of electric cars from China.

Reactions to von der Leyen’s speech varied. The renewable and electricity industry responded positively, with calls for decisive action to support grids, accelerate permitting, and address supply chain issues. The EU’s power industry association praised the focus on strengthening supply chains and addressing regulatory barriers for the wind industry. However, environmental organizations expressed skepticism, highlighting setbacks, delays, and broken promises. Critics called for a stronger stance on ending fossil fuels and industrial farming.

Overall, the European Green Deal’s new phase focusing on industrial policy represents the EU’s continued commitment to a sustainable and competitive future.