Ahead of the special meeting of the European Council on 9-10 February 2023, BusinessEurope President Fredrik Persson formulates the European business community’s expectation: “EU urgently needs to do its homework on investment conditions”
- Europe has to do its homework. Public investments to match the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act or national subsidies are important but far from being enough to create a level playing field. We must move fast now to address the numerous structural problems simultaneously. For the Green Deal Industrial Plan to become the cornerstone to manage Europe’s transformation into a net-zero industrial continent, the EU must pull three levers at the same time: simplify and seriously rethink regulations and bureaucracy, speed up permitting and access to finance for all industry sectors, and reduce energy costs.
- What the European Commission presented with its Green Deal Industrial Plan is a good start but not enough. Europe cannot afford a subsidy race. Improving investment conditions must be at the centre of strengthening Europe’s competitiveness at home and abroad. Many European companies are already looking for new locations outside of Europe.
- We regret that the need to reduce the overall regulatory burden is not yet sufficiently reflected in the Industrial Plan. Companies will be confronted with the cumulative impact of an unprecedented number of legal obligations that will come into force at the same time. Particularly amidst the current crises, it is critical to give companies breathing space. The EU needs technology openness. Europe requires a transformation of all industrial sectors for a climate-neutral and more digital future – from clean-tech sectors to energy-intensive industries. It is not enough to only acknowledge the need – the Commission has to act upon it now.
- BusinessEurope welcomes the European Commission’s aim for a European solution that protects and leverages the EU single market. It is vital to preserve an open Europe to safeguard our global competitiveness and build more resilient supply chains. Trade is a powerful tool, supporting faster deployment of green technologies and investments. Swift action is needed to ratify the agreements with Chile, Mexico, Mercosur and New Zealand.