New fiscal rules need to support Europe’s industrial ambition

(EurActiv, 15 Mar 2024) The European Industrial Summit in Antwerp and the subsequent Antwerp Declaration for an Industrial Deal put industrial policy back on the agenda of the EU, believe Judith Kirton-Darling, William Todts and Marco Mensink.

Judith Kirton-Darling is the secretary-general of trade union industriAll. William Todts is the executive director of the climate NGO Transport & Environment. Marco Mensink is the director-general of chemical industry association Cefic.

In a few weeks, the European Parliament will vote on the political agreement reached in the Council on the EU’s economic governance rules, which likely do not allow Member States to invest in an industrial policy. 

Europe needs an industrial strategy that delivers the European Green Deal, ensures quality jobs, and a just transition for workers. While China and the US invests in critical industries, European austerity measures risks, further undermining Europe’s ability to compete globally.

This is particularly concerning for Europe’s competitiveness, as no work has even started on a permanent EU investment instrument. 

The Commission estimates that about €620 billion of public and private investments are needed yearly to deliver the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU Plan. An additional €92 billion is needed to address the objectives of the Net-Zero Industry Act over the 2023-2030 period.

On top of this, other investment gaps are regularly identified, such as the EU Grids Strategy, which foresees investments of €450 billion by 2030 in energy infrastructure alone.

External link

EurActiv, 15 Mar 2024: New fiscal rules need to support Europe’s industrial ambition