Henrike Hahn, Member of the European Parliament (The Greens/EFA), deputy speaker and industrial policy speaker of the German delegation comments on today's State of the European Union Address (14 September 2022) by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the European Parliament in Strasbourg:
"More and targeted support for European industry is needed.
Ursula von der Leyen today spoke of the huge challenges that European industry is faced with and rightly called for more and targeted support for businesses in need. The enormous costs for energy, caused by the war in Ukraine, pose an existential threat to entire industrial sectors.
The update of the new EU industrial strategy, which will be debated tomorrow in the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, will respond to many challenges including the support of industry through Carbon Contracts for Difference.
The European Chips Act will be important for the supply of semiconductors to European industry
Ms. von der Leyen spoke about the EU Chips Act which aims to strengthen the EU's position in all sections of the semiconductor value chain. There is still a lot of room for improvement in the current draft of the EU Chips Act and because of very limited resources we need to focus on the existing strengths of the EU semiconductor industry. The current difficult situation in Taiwan makes the success of the EU Chips Act all the more urgent for European industry.
We need a European law on critical raw materials
I welcome von der Leyen's announcement of a European Critical Raw Materials Act. We need critical raw materials to push green technologies in Europe. But it is an illusion to talk about mining being 100% sustainable. We therefore need to additionally establish a functioning recycling market, promote resource efficiency and research and innovation on possible sustainable substitution of critical raw materials. These are the crucial focus points for the EU.
We need a reform of the Stability and Growth Pact
Von der Leyen's call for more flexibility in debt reduction and simpler rules, but also stronger accountability, makes sense as long as the debt reduction targets remain realistic. More fiscal space must be created in national budgets for the green transformation and combating climate change. After all, if we do not dare to make sustainable investments today, we will not be able to budget for the costs of climate change in the long run. The announcement on reforming the Stability and Growth Pact is a good step in the right direction. What is needed now are bold, realistic and forward-looking reforms."
I would be happy to answer any further questions.