European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen addresses European legislators on the inauguration of the brand-new President of the United States.
FRANCISCO SECO|AFP|Getty Images
LONDON– There is a brand-new global order, where competitors is intense and some countries “stop at nothing to gain influence,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated Wednesday.
Speaking at her yearly “State of the European Union” parliamentary address, von der Leyen explained the currrent environment of foreign relations as “a new era of hyper-competitiveness.”
“An era of regional rivalries and major powers refocusing their attention towards each other,” she stated, while including that “recent events in Afghanistan are not the cause of this change — but they are a symptom of it.”
The withdrawal of American and allied soldiers from Afghanistan sustained a much faster-than-expected takeover of the nation by theTaliban The entire procedure and subsequent evacuation efforts have actually raised issues in the EU about its reliance on the United States in regards to defense and security.
As such, some EU leaders have actually resurfaced the idea of a tactical autonomy– the concept that the bloc requires to establish its own defense abilities– and a subject that von der Leyen is eager to pursue.
“Witnessing events unfold in Afghanistan was profoundly painful for all the families of fallen servicemen and servicewomen,” von der Leyen stated Wednesday.
“Europe can — and clearly should — be able and willing to do more on its own … What we need is the European Defense Union,” she stated.
The subject is most likely to be in focus in the very first half of 2022, when France, an eager fan of the concept, supervises of leading the conversations at the EU-level.
The EU’s economics chief, Paolo Gentiloni, informed CNBC previously this month that the bloc must step up its function on the geopolitical phase as the U.S. and other Western allies take an action back.
China’s Climate Plan
During her hour-long speech, von der Leyen likewise asked China to be more concrete about its carbon neutrality strategies.
The nation has actually promised to be carbon neutral by 2060, however for von der Leyen this is insufficient.
“The goals that President Xi has set for China are encouraging. But we call for that same leadership on setting out how China will get there. The world would be relieved if they showed they could peak emissions by mid-decade — and move away from coal at home and abroad,” von der Leyen informed legislators.
She stated that all significant economies, consisting of the U.S. and Japan, ought to provide in-depth strategies towards carbon neutrality by the upcoming POLICE OFFICER26 conference in Glasgow in November.
The EU has actually been leading this area, providing in July a concrete set of procedures to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 55% by 2030.
This subject is ending up being progressively more vital as Europeans deal with greater energy costs in the middle of a gas lack and structural problems. This is raising issues throughout the bloc as member states expect chillier temperature levels in the coming months, which might lead to even greater expenses when the economy is still simply resurfacing from the coronavirus pandemic.
The federal governments of Spain and Greece have actually currently revealed procedures to balance out a few of the current spike in energy costs. While Spain presented short-lived tax cuts, Greece stated it would invest 150 million euros ($177 million) to cut energy costs for customers over the next 3 months.
Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, declared recently that energy costs were increasing due to the EU’s environment policies, Politico reported.
Frans Timmermans, who leads the environment policy portfolio at the European Commission, stated Tuesday that “only about a fifth of the price increase can be attributed to CO2 prices rising.”
“The others are simply about shortages in the market,” he informed the European Parliament.
“Had we had the green deal five years earlier we would not be in this position because then we would have less dependency on fossil fuels and natural gas,” Timmermans stated, arguing that the commission’s environment strategy would prevent such energy cost boosts.
Increasing chip production
Among the most unexpected statements on Wednesday was von der Leyen’s objective to have a “European Chips Act”– a strategy to increase production of semiconductors, however to likewise enhance research study, style and screening capabilities.
Demand for chips has actually grown out of supply in the previous months, which has actually affected the production of lots of items, consisting of automobiles, Televisions and lots of other electrical home appliances. This is an issue for the EU considered that it is presently greatly based on global supply chains.
“While global demand has exploded, Europe’s share across the entire value chain, from design to manufacturing capacity has shrunk. We depend on state-of-the-art chips manufactured in Asia. So this is not just a matter of our competitiveness. This is also a matter of tech sovereignty,” von der Leyen stated.