EU’s Breton: Joint debt for green transition no longer a priority

(EurActiv, 14 Mar 2023) Joint borrowing is currently not an option to help member states finance the green transition, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Monday (13 March), marking a shift from his previous calls for ‘mutualised tools’ at the European level.

Breton ruled out the option of contracting another round of EU joint debt to finance the development of green projects under the soon-to-be-presented Net Zero Industry Act – which looks at increasing support for low-carbon technologies – in answer to a question from EURACTIV at a press conference in Paris on Monday (13 March).

“We are in a context of urgency, and it will be easier to find a political agreement as part of the revision of the MFF [Multiannual Financial Framework] than through joint borrowing,” he said.

The MFF is the EU’s long-term budget. The one the EU is currently operating under was approved for the 2021-2027 period and accompanied by an €800-billion joint debt instrument, known as NextGenerationEU (NGEU), dedicated to post-COVID economic recovery.

The MFF is due to be revised in July, to reroute budget lines in light of the war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures and the introduction of the Green Deal Industrial Plan to curb the effects of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on EU industry.

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EurActiv, 14 Mar 2023: EU’s Breton: Joint debt for green transition no longer a priority