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Friday, February 3, 2023
HomeWorldThierry Breton: Europe must support its industry

Thierry Breton: Europe must support its industry

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The European Union has not hidden its concern for months about the consequences of the spending of 420 billion of the administration of President Joe Biden, dedicated to the environment and approved in August.

European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has called for a “European fund” to “support industrial projects” to tackle the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) adopted in the US and criticized by the French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to this country.

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The European Union has not hidden its concern for months about the consequences of the spending of 420 billion of the administration of President Joe Biden, dedicated to the environment and approved in August. This particular law was at the heart of Mr. Macron’s official visit on the other side of the Atlantic.

Among other things, it provides for reforms that will favor US-based companies, especially in the key areas of electric cars, batteries, technology, renewable energy, hydrogen.

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It results in “distortions of competition to the detriment of EU companies”, declared Thierry Breton in an interview published today by the Journal du dimanche. Mr Breton threatened in November to “go to the World Trade Organization (WTO)” to present Brussels’ arguments.

“A working group has been created with representatives of the White House and the European Commission,” he explained.

Emmanuel Macron said on Friday he would like the issue of “exemptions” he is seeking from the US for European industries to be “fixed” by the first quarter of 2023, after calling some of the previous US measures “too aggressive”. The American president declared his willingness to correct the “defects” of this law, which he defends tooth and nail.

“After the openings secured in Washington by the president (of France Macron), I am convinced (that) the efforts of the European Union will bear fruit. Sooner than we thought, I hope. Maybe in the next few days,” Mr Breton told JDD.

The commissioner underlined the need for Europe to improve its attractiveness and competitiveness, emphasizing “technology and strategic sectors for the success of the green transition”, in particular wind energy, solar energy and electricity grids, adapting the “very heavy” regulatory framework.

In the face of the energy crisis, American competition and China’s economic policy, he suggested creating a “European fund” to support “industrial projects” and to “coordinate” national projects.

Highlighting the different conditions regarding the issuance of debt by member state, Mr. Breton also said that “we must undoubtedly foresee financing around 2% of the EU’s GDP, i.e. around 350 billion euros”.

RES-EMP

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