EU seeks to bridge economy-environment divide

The European Commission is to create a new high-level group on
competitiveness, energy and environment by the end of this year. The EU
executive announced the initiative on Wednesday as part of a new
industrial policy for Europe.
The advisory group is to be co-chaired by
commissioners for industry, competition, energy and environment and
will pursue greater coordination and integration of policy making in
the three areas. It will “ensure the coherence of individual
initiatives while improving both sustainability and competitiveness”,
the Commission said.
The group’s creation follows a long period
of tension between competitiveness and environmental policies,
frequently pitting industry commissioner Gunther Verheugen and his
environment counterpart Stavros Dimas against each other. If it works
well, the initiative could lessen the risk of these stand-offs in
The industrial policy announced by
the Commission is aimed at maintaining a vibrant EU manufacturing base.
It features six further cross-sectoral initiatives in addition to the
competitiveness-environment group, including a new legislative
simplification programme. Seven new sectoral initiatives include one on
the chemicals industry.
European Commission,
tel: +32 2 299 1111, a press release, memo and the policy. See also reaction by EU industry association Unice(pdf)
Author: EARSC

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