European competitiveness high on Swedish Presidency agenda

13 January 2023

As the Swedish Presidency of the Coun...

As the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union gets underway, it is clear that European competitiveness will be a major preoccupation over the next six months. The ongoing fallout from the Russian war against Ukraine, the energy crisis and the industrial policies of other economies have brought the future of Europe’s industrial base into sharp focus. 

Orgalim welcomes this focus, which was evident during the first major meeting of the Commission with the Swedish Presidency in Kiruna, Sweden, this week. Notably, we welcome the emphasis in the Presidency’s programme on continuing efforts to eliminate trade barriers, improve the application of and compliance with existing internal market regulations, and boost the EU FTA agenda, as all are crucial to strengthen EU competitiveness.

As Malte Lohan, Orgalim Director General, said: "Removing barriers to free trade both internally within the Single Market and internationally is key not just for our industrial competitiveness, but also for tackling current crippling raw materials shortages and ensuring the resilience of our supply chains."
 

  Removing barriers to free trade internally within the Single Market and internationally is key not just for our industrial competitiveness, but also for tackling current crippling raw materials shortages and ensuring the resilience of our supply chains. 

Malte Lohan

We expect progress also in a number of other areas key to our industries:

Industrial policy: 
We await a new industrial plan in early 2023 and a legislative proposal for a European Critical Raw Materials Act in March.

Internal market:
The 30th anniversary of the Single Market provides timely impetus for the efforts to establish a path for how EU competitiveness can be strengthened in the years to come. The Presidency will also work on the negotiations on the legislative draft of the Single Market Emergency Instrument. 

Digital transformation:
The Chips Act, AI Act, and Data Act are all expected to enter trilogue negotiations during the Swedish Presidency.

Green transition:
On energy, trilogues on the Fit for 55 package files – the Renewable Energy Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive and Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation – are all continuing and we await publication of the review of the electricity market design rules by February or March. As to environment, we expect trilogue negotiations to start also on the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation and await publication of proposals on the right to repair and green claims.

Corporate sustainability:
We expect progress on the proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CS3D).

Orgalim will continue to actively engage in these areas, in support of our industries and a green, digital and resilient Europe. Our detailed initial analysis of the Swedish Presidency programme is available to Orgalim members via the Members Area.

The programme of the Swedish Presidency can be viewed here.
 

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