The Commisson's proposal provides for a standardised methodology for calculating CO2 emissions from passenger and freight transport and from the operation of transport hubs. This is to be welcomed. There is a need for reliable and comparable data.
The European economy is currently facing major upheavals such as digitisation, the climate crisis and escalating geopolitical tensions. The EU approach of open strategic autonomy is at odds with the new interventionist and protectionist approaches. Against this backdrop, the European Commission is focusing on a more active approach to industrial policy. The Green Deal Industrial Plan and related Commission’s proposals such as the Net-Zero Industry Act aim to achieve technological retooling and innovation, value creation and employment for a climate-neutral and sustainable Europe.
Under Directive (EU) 2018/851 of 30 May 2018, the obligation of the Member States to introduce separate collection of textiles by 1 January 2025 was standardised in the Waste Framework Directive. The present proposal aims to create the basis for such separate collection. To this end, the introduction of extended producer responsibility (EPR) for producers of certain textiles is proposed.
The textile sector produces immense amounts of waste. In order to reduce the environmental impact of the sector as a whole, this waste must also be disposed of correctly. It has already been planned that all EU Member States would have to introduce the separate collection of textiles by 1 January 2025. In the summer, the EU Commission specified the implementation of this plan in a further proposal for a directive. This is the subject of a current AK EUROPA position paper.
The European Food Policy Coalition published an open letter to Ursula von der Leyen on October 25, condemning that the Framework for Sustainable Food Systems (FSFS), a key EU Green Deal file, is missing from the 2024 work programme, and demanding her to still deliver the FSFS this term. The letter also outlines the signatories’ priorities that need to be met for the announced ‘strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture’ to be fruitful. AK is among the signatories.
In July, the EU Commission published a package of measures to ensure a more sustainable use of plants and soil and to strengthen the resilience of food systems. From the EU Commission's point of view, a key component is changes in the use of New Genomic Techniques (NGTs). NGTs should function more specifically, more precisely and more quickly than conventional methods and also improve the climate resilience of plants. A new AK EUROPA Position Paper shows the pitfalls of this proposal.
A recent draft directive by the European Commission aims to put more extra-long and extra-heavy lorries (“Gigaliners”) on the road. The reasons given for revising the existing rules range from a shortage of drivers to improving road safety and environmental protection; the proposal is part of a legislative package on green freight transport presented in early July.
A current draft directive by the EU Commission aims to put more extra-long and extra-heavy lorries on the road in the EU. The consequence would probably be a further shift of freight transport from rail to road. This would not only run counter to the goals of the Green Deal, but also jeopardise road safety. At the same time, the investment needed to adapt and repair the infrastructure would be enormous. Gigaliners also represent a deterioration from the workers' perspective, as they would further increase the pressure on drivers.
On Wednesday, 13 September 2023, Commission President von der Leyen delivered the annual State of the Union (SOTEU) address at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg. The last SOTEU in this legislative period before the upcoming EU elections in June 2024 focused on green transition, artificial intelligence (AI) and enlargement. The social perspective was addressed with individual important points, for example with regard to the role of the social partners. However, overall it fell too short.
In March 2023, the EU Commission proposed a package of measures on critical raw materials. The aim is to secure supplies in the future. As the EU is heavily dependent on imports in this area, strategic risks along the value chain are to be reduced. The EU Commission assumes strong increases in consumption. A current AK EUROPA position paper demands that more attention has to be paid to the consequences of massive encroachments on nature and negative impacts on the local population.