Marco Mensink: There is no European Green Deal without a strong European industry of the future

Brussels, 11th March 2020 – Commenting on the publication of the EU’s new Industrial Strategy on 10 March, Cefic Director General Marco Mensink said: “There is no European Green Deal without a strong European industry of the future. Find out how Europe’s Chemical Industry can help deliver on the green deal.

We see the publication of the Industrial Strategy package as the foundation for deploying radical industrial policies to accelerate the European Green Deal transformation of the EU industry.

The industrial policy will need to constantly gauge the temperature of the European ecosystem. We will need to have a governance structure in place, KPIs, a data observatory and report back to the Council, Commission and Parliament every year.

What should come next is a “sectoral Green Deal for the chemical industry”: a consolidation of all relevant policies, including chemicals, trade, tax, enforcement and competition, so that they serve the same goal, which is to attract investments into Europe and create markets for circular and low-carbon products developed by the industry.

The EU chemical industry comprises 29,000 companies, the majority of which are small and medium size enterprises. Today’s new SME strategy should support these companies in delivering the Green Deal objectives. In times like these, when the global economy is under increasing pressure, we are once again reminded how important it is to create the right conditions for Europe’s ecosystem of companies to survive, thrive and continue developing solutions for a climate-neutral and circular economy.

We all need to ensure that if we invest trillions in the industrial transformation, these investments benefit the EU industry and EU consumers. Therefore, we must continue preserving a strong and well-functioning EU Single Market –  the crown jewel of our economy, and ensure that EU rules are respected at all times. Nothing shall enter Europe that does not comply with EU rules.

Therefore, we are pleased to see that better enforcement has been recognised as a pillar of a new Long term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules and that a strong package of actions to address the lack of enforcement will be implemented. We especially look forward to the use of digital solutions and tools to detect and tackle non-compliant products entering the EU market, such as, for example, illegal trade in HFC refrigerant gases.

As recognised by the European Green Deal Communication, energy-intensive industries, including chemicals, “are indispensable to Europe’s economy, as they supply several key value chains”. The chemical industry welcomes the creation of key value chain alliances including the Alliance on Low-Carbon Industries and Clean Hydrogen Alliance to develop a sustainable and competitive ecosystem of EU businesses working on these strategic technologies.”