The European industry is under pressure. We recognize that historic energy prices and inflation, increasing global competition also due to the urgent need to invest in the twin transitions, and the changing geopolitical climate are all factors that we as policy makers can react to, but ultimately have no control over. What we can control is the amount of pressure we add through regulation.
A survey from BusinessEurope* showed that nearly 60% of businesses in Europe, especially small businesses, consider the regulatory environment in Europe to be the second most important disadvantage in international competition, with energy prices identified by nearly 90% of businesses as a crucial factor.
A recent study* has also shown that a ban on internal combustion engine parts by 2035 could cost Europe nearly 400,000 jobs, and the European chemical industry could face around 14 billion Euros in regulatory costs in 2025. These are important realities that we as policy makers must consider when we want to achieve the 2030 and 2050 objectives.
We understand that decarbonisation by deindustrialisation cannot be the approach, and we are at risk of deindustrialisation in Europe. It is important to note that this is not just an industry discussion, as the recent survey* showed that 93% of Europeans are worried about costs, their jobs, and the economy in general.
We believe that the focus should be on the general challenge of competitiveness, and we see opportunities through deregulation and investing in research and innovation. These are areas where Europe has a comparative advantage, and where we need to focus our proposals.
We are committed to delivering on the deal part of the European Green Deal, and we believe that the reaction to the IRA is a right step in the right direction if we care about competitiveness in Europe.
Yesterday, we finished the last proposal for the “Fit for 55” package, which was the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Now is the time to show how we make the deal part of the European Green Deal and we must prioritize competitiveness in all of our proposals.