How can EU competition law accelerate industrial green transition?


Speaking at Politico Europe’s Competitive Europe Summit, Cefic Director General Marco Mensink highlighted the role of innovation in increasing the speed of industrial transformation. 

“It is by competing that our industry moves forward. That’s the way our companies innovate. No one likes hurdles in the market that shouldn’t be there, like competitors not complying with the rules.” 

Marco stressed that companies are not looking for ‘blank checks,’ but the real challenge for the industry is how to bring an innovation framework closer to the market. “We need to increase the speed of transformation, and the answer is innovation.” 

Speaking next to Marco, Margarida Matos Rosa, President of the Portuguese Competition Authority, also highlighted that competition and innovation “can go hand in hand, and that’s also true for Green Innovation.”  

The chemicals industry is going through a “double twin” transition. Our sector is asked to go climate-neutral and circular, increase digitalization and implement the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, and this is where the industry will need support in mapping out a pathway towards the 2050 goals. 

Kim Jørgensen, Head of Cabinet of the European Commission’s Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager stated that “We (also) have to be a bit precise in what we can do and what we cannot do. We are very much behind in using competition tools and help with the green transition.” 

“The race will likely develop the best technology to make the industrial transformation, but we don’t have too much time until 2030. So, we’re looking for guidance on how information can be exchanged on the ways forward. That’s where we’re looking for the guidance and continued dialogue with the Cabinet of EVP Vestager,” Marco Mensink concluded.  

This panel debate was part of  Politico Europe’s Competitive Europe Summit. Watch the full 20 minute-debate between Marco Mensink, Kim Jørgensen, Head of Cabinet of Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, Julian Nowag, Associate Professor in EU competition law, Lund University, and Margarida Matos Rosa, President Portuguese Competition Authority.

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