Brussels, 17 March 2023
COMMISSION DELIVERS LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES FOR THE GREEN DEAL INDUSTRIAL PLAN
The Commission published a series of legislative proposals aiming to deliver on the objectives of the Green Deal Industrial Plan, presented in February. The Net Zero Industry Act identifies the EU’s key strategic net-zero technologies and aims to incentivise their uptake and access to finance. The Critical Raw Materials Act lays out measures and objectives to secure the EU’s access to critical raw materials and to reduce supply dependencies. The EU Hydrogen Bank should support investment in renewable hydrogen. And the reform of the EU’s Electricity Market Design with the objective to protect consumers and foster long-term investment into renewable technologies.
30 YEARS OF THE SINGLE MARKET
The Commission published two Communications titled “Long-term competitiveness of the EU: looking beyond 2030” and “The Single Market at 30”. They take stock of the progress achieved and provide an overview of the strategy and tools that will be implemented to foster Europe’s competitiveness, ensure stability to post-pandemic recovery, and face current geo-political challenges. While the Communications do not introduce any substantially new measures, they encourage moving forward various already announced initiatives. Notably, the Communication underlines the importance of further deepening the Capital Markets Union as well as completing the Banking Union to boost access to private capital and investment.
EU RULES ON DATA AND EU-WIDE DIGITAL WALLETS ADOPTED BY PARLIAMENT
The European Parliament adopted its position on two key files which are part of the EU’s digital transition strategy. First, it approved a negotiating mandate on the revision of the electronic ID Directive which aims to allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online via a European digital identity wallet without having to rely on commercial providers. Moreover, the Parliament adopted its position on the Data Act which sets out an EU framework on data sharing and tries to boost innovation by removing barriers that obstruct access by consumers and businesses to data. Both files have now reached the trilogue stage and the next step is negotiations with the Council.
PARLIAMENT ENDORSES RULES ON BUILDINGS AND EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS
The European Parliament adopted its position on the revised Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings. The Directive mandates the building sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption by 2030 and become climate neutral by 2050. It also increases the rate of renovations of energy inefficient buildings and improve information sharing on energy performance. Furthermore, the Parliament adopted its negotiating mandate on the revision of the Effort Sharing Regulation which sets binding annual reductions for greenhouse gas emissions for road transport, heating of buildings, agriculture, small industrial installations, and waste management across the EU. The revision should ultimately increase the 2030 reduction target at EU level from 30% to 40%.
COUNCIL AGREES ON ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE AND 2024 BUDGET
The Council agreed on orientations for a reform of the EU economic governance framework, recognising that a review of the existing framework could increase its effectiveness. Moreover, the Council agreed on guidelines for the budget for 2024. These two topics were tackled during the ECOFIN meeting, where finance ministers agreed that the new economic framework should combine fiscal adjustments with reform and investments to ensure the adoption of structural fiscal plans for the medium term. Finally, the Eurogroup adopted a statement on fiscal guidance for 2024 drawing on last week’s communication from the Commission and maintained that the priority should be fiscal soundness.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab