For months, the EU has been working on a joint response to the Inflation Reduction Act of the United States, which provides billions in subsidies for the domestic green tech industry. Yesterday’s extraordinary summit meeting of the European Council, where securing competitiveness was a main topic, did not produce any concrete results either.
In principle, EU leaders support the Green Deal Industrial Plan presented by the European Commission last week, which should now work out further details, Euractiv writes, such as simplified planning and approval procedures.
However, the countries disagree on the announced European Sovereignty Fund, and are particularly critical of the inclusion of possible new debt, Euractiv said. The Green Deal Industrial Plan also envisages relaxing the rules on state aid. Critics, however, warn against a subsidy race.
There is more agreement, however, on the crucial role that raw materials such as rare earths and lithium play in the energy and transport transition. The Green Deal Industrial Plans aims to facilitate access to these materials and reduce unilateral dependencies through new trade agreements and associated raw material partnerships. To this end, a “critical raw materials club” is also envisaged together with partners such as the USA. The final declaration (PDF) of yesterday’s EU summit also calls for diversification of supply chains, especially for critical minerals, as well as more recycling.