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A European Green Deal to reshape EU economy

Saturday, 31 August 2019 | 00:00

During her speech to the Members of the European Parliament, Ms Ursula von der Leyen declared that climate change will be a top priority and that as a President of the European Commission, she was committed to delivering –in her first 100 days– a European Green Deal able to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Ms Von der Leyen’s plan already contains about 20 different policy proposals, spanning from the creation of a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, to the introduction of a carbon border tax as well as the partial transformation of the European Investment Bank into a climate bank and the adoption of a new industrial policy for Europe.

If implemented, the Green Deal could in fact also represent an unprecedented opportunity for Europe to move away from fragmented policymaking.

Thanks to its comprehensive nature, a Green Deal has the potential to unleash Europe’s deep decarbonisation, and therefore to profoundly reshape the continent’s economy.

MEP Bas Eickhout recently mentioned that “the EU must adopt an ambitious industrial policy aligned with its climate agenda by investing in clean technologies and introducing a carbon tariff at the EU’s external border in order to protect industries against environmental dumping.”

If this is part of the Green Deal, then this would probably be one of the best news that many sectors in the EU are waiting for.

More than 500 European and national industrial associations have indeed recently called for a new industrial policy while France and Germany have also made a common proposal. An ambitious climate policy can be consistent with an ambitious industrial policy.

It can be if EU Member States realise that we are very vulnerable if they remain dependent only on imports, energy and material resources. It will be important to combine industrial and climate policies. The EU can lead on innovation and deliver both on climate and future jobs.

It will be essential to use the potential of digitalization to implement smart, seamless and sustainable operations in the transport logistics sector and create jobs that will make the best use of human creativity and capacity to innovate.

Rethinking the EU economy thanks to a European Green Deal should also mean that EU Member States are less naive towards third countries particularly when it comes to geostrategic agendas.

The EU is a big consumer market with many strategic point of access to the EU territory.

European ports should not be conceived as ordinary assets but as advanced platforms/laboratories where both EU climate and industrial policies can reconcile and embody EU priorities for the future. If awareness among Member States and EU institutions becomes significant then this will entail the end of a fragmented policymaking and initiating a common reflection among European port stakeholders in favour of a sustainable use of public resources.

FEPORT is looking forward to contributing to the reflection on all the above mentioned issues.
Source: FEPORT

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