- European Sovereignty fund to avoid fragmented, national support schemes
- Call for easier access to funding, simpler permitting procedures
- Commission should work with US authorities to prevent discrimination against EU companies
MEPs say the EU must lead in clean energy technologies, improve its industrial base, and produce high quality jobs and economic growth to reach the Green Deal goals.
In a resolution adopted on Thursday – in response to the Commission’s “Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age” – MEPs call on the Commission to work on plans to redeploy, relocate and re-shore industries in Europe. They stress the importance of enhancing the EU’s manufacturing strength in strategic technologies like solar and wind energy, heat pumps, and batteries.
They demand the scaling-up, and improved commercialisation of, strategic technologies to bridge the gap between innovation and market deployment. Fast and predictable permitting procedures to set up new projects to deploy renewable energy sources as quickly as possible are also needed, according to MEPs.
The overall objective of EU policy must be to secure European leadership in clean energy technologies and improving Europe’s existing industrial base while assisting in its transformation to produce high quality jobs and economic growth to reach the goals of the Green Deal. To achieve this, MEPs say, the EU must take measures to accelerate production capacities for affordable, secure and clean energy intended for use by industry and to increase energy savings and energy efficiency measures.
MEPs also highlight the importance of secure access to critical raw materials to achieve the EU’s ecological and digital transformations. Strategic European projects need faster and more transparent permitting, according to MEPs.
European Sovereignty Fund
A future European Sovereignty fund should aim to avoid the fragmentation caused by uncoordinated national state aid schemes and ensure an effective response to the crisis, MEPs insist. The fund should strengthen EU strategic autonomy and the green and digital transitions, be integrated into the current EU long-term budget, and mobilise private investments.
EU state aid rules should also be simplified and allow for flexibility, but this should be targeted, temporary, proportionate and consistent with EU policy objectives. MEPs stand firmly against any attempts to make state aid rules more flexible without providing a European solution for all member states that do not have large fiscal capacities to fund massive state aid support.
US Inflation Reduction Act
MEPs want the Commission to take a stronger stance on tackling unfair global competition caused by unjustified state aid. They express concern about provisions in the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which discriminate against EU companies. The Commission should work with the US to make sure the EU is covered by the exceptions provided in the IRA for countries with a free trade cooperation, and that European products are eligible for tax credits like their US counterparts.
The resolution was adopted with 310 votes in favour, 155 against and 100 abstentions.
On 1 February, the European Commission presented its Green deal industrial plan for the net-zero age to stimulate development in clean technology in the EU and secure strategic autonomy for the EU by reducing its dependence on third countries.
By Baptiste CHATAIN (European Parliament Press Officer)
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