Henrike Hahn, member of the European Parliament (The Greens/EFA), industrial policy speaker, member of the Industry Committee and deputy member of the Budget Committee comments on today's proposal from the European Commission on the 2024 draft budget:
“The Commission's proposal shows once again that the Multiannual Financial Framework needs to be revised and that an EU sovereignty fund is urgently needed.
There is no time for hesitation and procrastination if we want to support competitive green European industrial policy in times of an Inflation Reduction Act. We need courageous, well-financed industrial policy initiatives and fresh new funds for a strong EU sovereignty fund in favour of an assertive and green European industry. Important political projects such as the boost of the European semiconductor industry through the EU Chips Act and the safeguarding and diversification of the supply of raw materials through the CRMA need solid and ambitious financing - also from the EU budget.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner must also finally openly declare himself on that issue: We will see whether he wants to slow down the project for an ambitious EU sovereignty fund with clear need for financing to support European, competitive and green industrial policy instead of standing by the side of the industry and businesses in Europe. Fresh and focused investments at the right places as an important puzzle piece are now needed to strengthen European industrial policy - without reallocations that plunder the funding for other measures that have already been discussed and agreed on, especially not in research and development that we need for innovative technologies.
The rising interest costs of the recovery fund loans represent a heavy burden for current and future EU programs. Key EU programs such as Horizon urgently need to be protected and expanded in times of the green and competitive transformation of the economy to support research and development.
We Greens will also take a close look at climate and biodiversity mainstreaming in the EU budget. We will have to check whether the 2024 budget actually spends 7.5% of all EU funds on biodiversity measures and whether the Commission's methodology is appropriate. Past reports from the European Court of Auditors have clearly shown that the Commission has over-reported its climate spending.”
I would be happy to answer any further questions.