PR Henrike Hahn, MdEP (The Greens/EFA) on the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP): A good foundation, but no major milestone

This Tuesday, February 27, 2024, the European Parliament adopted the trilogue result on the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) with 517 votes in favour, 59 votes against and 51 abstentions. Henrike Hahn, member of the European Parliament (The Greens/EFA), Green shadow rapporteur on STEP in the Budget Committee (BUDG), member of the Industry Committee (ITRE), industrial policy speaker and deputy spokesperson of the European Group, comments:

“With STEP, we are laying the first foundation for financing green, competitive industrial policy in Europe.

Existing funding programs, particularly in cohesion policy, are now being specifically adapted and projects that are particularly worthy of funding can be identified using a new STEP quality seal. Companies that are central to digital and green transformation will thus receive funding more quickly and reliably.

It must be made clear that STEP is not the big industrial policy milestone we urgently need in Europe - but it is a small step in the right direction. We are now calling for a clear commitment from the member states in the Council to a green European industrial policy with the creation of a fully-fledged sovereignty fund counter-financed with new own resources.

Such a future sovereignty fund must not simply disappear into thin air with the creation of a future defense fund either.

We must also keep European funding in Europe, as we are now doing with STEP.

STEP will benefit both the strongest European regions and regions with less financial scope for investment.

The scope of the Just Transition Fund for STEP objectives is now being opened up to more companies, including large ones, but the focus remains explicitly on SMEs. Large companies will be eligible for funding under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), especially in less developed regions and transition regions, as well as in member states with a GDP below the EU average - a clear incentive for the establishment of future industries. This shows that good industrial policy is also concrete cohesion policy.“


I will be happy to answer any further questions.

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