"The decisions of the EU summit are a strong sign of Europe's unity," explains ZVEI President Dr Gunther Kegel. The right conclusions have been drawn from Russia's attack on Ukraine, which violates international law. "In these difficult times, Member States have clearly demonstrated the importance of the EU for securing peace, freedom and democracy in Europe," Dr Kegel continued. However, he added, Europe must also resolutely stand by the Ukraine, for the moment focusing on financial and humanitarian aid and, in the long term, with reconstruction aid.
Another challenge for the EU: Europe must drive towards more energy-sovereignty. "The war is a drastic reminder that we must once again strengthen our economic resilience and become less dependent on gas, oil and coal imports," says Dr Kegel. To this end, the Green Deal must be implemented faster and the electrification of the energy system based on renewable energies and simultaneous digitalisation must be advanced even more consistently.
In this way, considerable savings could be achieved in all sectors, particularly high ones in the building sector. "In buildings, energy consumption can be almost halved," says Dr Kegel. "The technologies needed for this have long been available and must be used much more." The prerequisite, he said, is that the right framework conditions are actually created, and planning and approval procedures are accelerated, as envisaged by the EU summit. "The resolutions must be followed by deeds. Then security of supply beyond fossil fuels and the desired climate neutrality will be possible."
For the moment, however, most important is to show solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. To this end, the ZVEI is coordinating closely with its Central and Eastern European partners and contributes with important coordination tasks. Dr. Kegel: "The willingness to help, that we are experiencing in many ways these days, is overwhelming. Many of our member companies are getting involved with monetary donations and contributions in kind, thus helping to alleviate the need."