No EU sovereign wealth fund for industry, but the Step platform will mobilize 160 billion –

No EU sovereign wealth fund for industry, but the Step platform will mobilize 160 billion –

The President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen

From our correspondent
BRUSSELS We still have to wait for the EU Industrial Sovereignty Fund promised to counter the Green Industry Maxi Bailout introduced by the US government with the Inflation Reduction Act, it is not there. Instead, as part of the review of the EU budget 2021-2027, the EU Commission proposed a Strategic Technologies Platform for Europe (STEP) to support the development, production and improvement of related value chains in the Union for digital technologies, clean technologies and biotechnology. step is co-financed existing funds in the EU budget plus another 10 billion fresh euros with the goal to achieve mobilize up to 160 billion euros in investments in the coming years. Step builds on existing programmes: InvestEU, Innovation Fund, Horizon Europe, European Innovation Council, European Defense Fund, EU4Health, Digital Europe, and uses additional funds from the Recovery Fund and Cohesion Policy funds.

The sovereignty fund has divided EU countries since talks began last December. The frugal have made no secret of their opposition to taking on new joint debt, arguing that Next Generation Eu is a one-off with plenty of funds still available. Nevertheless The EU Commission had promised to present a sovereign wealth fund by the summer and this promise had been one of the elements which had led him to accept a Relaxation of state aid rules oppose the American IRA to those countries that do not have the same room for maneuver as Germany or France and fear that the stability of the internal market will be impaired, such as Italy. The Extraordinary European Council of 9-10 February He had found a compromise by noting the Commission’s intention to propose a European Sovereignty Fund before summer 2023 to support investment in strategic sectors.

Tuesday EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn In the press conference he explained that we are proceeding step by step. There was an idea and the idea is still aliveand with it their spirit, which is to focus on the areas that we consider important for our global competitiveness, as we need to be first in certain areas and not second to none. But In order to be really fast, we had to change this idea or turn it into a solution that’s delivered immediately as an actionable deal, and that’s Step’s approach now. “So we don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” he concluded. Everything is ready and we can focus on what is needed Don’t get lost in negotiations for a new fund.

The coverage of the EU budget is tight, at the same time the need for financing has increased for political and macroeconomic reasons due to the rise in interest rates: For the EU priorities of Ukraine, migration and innovation, we are asking the Member States – announced Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – to provide an additional 66 billion euros for the European budget. The world has changed completely, said President von der Leyen, outlining the proposed revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and the new strategy for economic security. “We have had three years of crisis,” he continued, “with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its painful effects such as energy prices, rising inflation and rising interest rates.” We are in a completely different world than 2020 (as the EU budget was negotiated ed).

The EU Commission has therefore revised its political priorities and adjusted and increased the budget flexibility and that the programsand accepting one targeted approach in areas considered crucial, such as migration and assistance to Ukraine. The Commission has proposed a Financial reserve of 50 billion euros for Ukraine for the next four years, which includes both loans and transfers. President von der Leyen calls for quick reactions on the migration front. We propose to give financial support to our Member States Strengthening the management of external borders. We need to work harder on ours Neighborhood to support economic development. We must more funds for Syrian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkeyfor the southern migration route and for the Balkan routefor our partners around the world and to maintain our ability to respond to humanitarian crises and natural disasters. For all this we are asking for an additional 15 billion euros.

The EU Commission also presented its own on Tuesday economic security strategy, which will be followed by concrete proposals. The slogan promote, protect, work together. the owner of the EU cartel office, Margaret Vestagerto break the ambiguity and explain that the risks we have identified reflect behavior we have observed in some countries. It’s no secret that the Russia raised our concerns about energy security, as did those China raises concerns about technology security and risk of technology leaks. EU High Representative Joseph Borrell Instead, he was more cautious: It’s not about China, he said, this communication is the first step in a formulated European Union strategy, the Council will analyze it and assess its adoption. important that our partners understand our position, not a protectionist move But it meets our need to protect our economy. The Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis He specified that Brussels wants its partners around the world to benefit from access to EU markets, capital and technology. So we suggest proportionate and precise economic security measures.

Already in March, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned possible restrictions on some sensitive investments or exports in a speech on EU-China relations. Numerous measures have already been taken. In early June, the EU agreed to create a common tool to punish any country that uses economic sanctions to pressure one of its members, as China did against Lithuania. Now the EU’s attention will focus on this Screening of foreign investments in the EU, control of sensitive exports and control of investments outside the EU that could lead to technology leaks. But as von der Leyen noted, it is also about strengthening our trade relationships and supply chains and diversifying those supply chains. One example is his recent trip to Latin America promoting free trade agreements. For lithium, we are 97% dependent on China, but lithium comes from Argentina or Chile – explained the President -. Therefore, it is advisable to diversify your delivery channels to no longer give up the only route from China Because the resource-rich countries of Latin America understand and welcome the fact that our Global Gateway investment program follows the principle that the added value stays in the country.

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