On 1 July, Germany takes over the EU Presidency. After the Covid-19 crisis, the initial programme of the trio-Presidencies Germany, Portugal and Slovenia had to be adapted. All efforts now must be made to overcome the crisis, to stimulate the economy and to provide the ground for strong investments into our future.
The EU Recovery package that was presented by the European Commission at the end of May therefore rightly foresees a focus on the twin green and digital transformation. Main challenge for the German EU Presidency will be to generate consensus across all EU Member States on the recovery measures and its financing, including an ambitious Multiannual Financial Framework for the years 2021-27. One lesson learned from the Corona crisis is that we need more European coordination and consensus.
Climate change and the digital transformation remain our two main big tasks for the next decade. The need to take steps to protect our planet is not gone after the Corona crisis. The so-called European Green Deal embraces some very good ideas and initiatives – it is all up to the right mix of measures. ZVEI supports the Green Deal and calls upon concrete measures for instance in the areas of renovation of buildings and sustainable mobility. Electrification and digitisation of our energy systems will make Europe more resilient. We currently promote our position with the European Institutions. In parallel, we need to foster the digitisation of our economies and societies. Europe urgently needs to set up its digital infrastructure, lay out 5G networks – which are the basis for all digital applications in industry. Data ecosystems will bring Europe new growth and business opportunities. Gaia X is a first good initiative – more will come when the framework is right. As trust is the basis for all digital communication, we need to invest into cybersecurity solutions.
The world after the Corona crisis is different: China has emerged as an even stronger player with more strategic aspirations.
The US will elect its new President in November – with the question mark if the isolationist and protectionist approach will continue.
International industry supply chains that had been disrupted during the pandemic will have to be rebuild – diversification and regionalisation are likely to become global trends – with consequences for the export-oriented European companies. Europe will need to find answers to these international changes and define its own global policy agenda.