Henrike Hahn, MEP (The Greens/EFA), member of the Industry Committee (ITRE), deputy member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) and deputy speaker for the German Green delegation, comments on the European Commission's work programme for 2024 presented today:
"The Commission's work programme for 2024 is no big leap forward, but a missed opportunity to use every single day to implement the urgently needed Green Deal. Hesitation and tactical waiting for a supposedly better time to implement the Green Deal neither benefits the climate nor the environment nor a competitive green economy in Europe.
The Commission's communication rightly outlines its initiatives on the European Green Deal being at the core of EU policymaking in recent years as major success of the European Greens. But we could do more than that.
Key proposals such as the revision of the Regulation on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH) and regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which must balance decisions for important industrial applications with protecting the environment and health, just fell under the table. The industry needs planning security as to which applications will be approved in the future - inaction or lobbying pressure trying to delay decisions cannot be a good solution for the people of Europe.
Furthermore, important elements of previous work programmes - such as large parts of the animal welfare package and the initiative for greening corporate fleets originally planned for 2023 - have also been buried. The Commission could have delivered more here with its new promising Climate Commissioner Hoekstra and the new Vice-President for the Green Deal Šefčovič.
Nevertheless, the communication also contains clearly positive elements. As shadow rapporteur in the Industry Committee (ITRE) for the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), I welcome the renewed clear commitment to schedule a first meeting of the Critical Raw Materials Club with international partners before the end of the year.
I also welcome that the Commission is determined to conclude the negotiations on the revision of the fiscal rules in a timely manner. Member states urgently need more leeway to make crucial public investments to achieve climate goals. When it comes to revising the multiannual financial framework and introducing new EU own resources, it is high time that the Council comes to an agreement and negotiations can begin with Parliament. The Commission must continue to work towards a quick conclusion here and a German finance minister must also show profound commitment to European issues.”
I am at your disposal for further questions.