European business is dissatisfied with the European authorities due to the lack of large-scale programs to subsidize the energy transition to "green" technologies, similar to the one that the United States is currently implementing. Companies believe that without similar measures, Europe risks losing its leadership in this area and becoming dependent on Chinese and American developments, and local businesses will lose their competitiveness. This is reported by Bloomberg, whose correspondents participated in several sessions at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
For example, Martin Lundstedt, chief executive of the Swedish truck manufacturer Volvo, directly cited US actions as an example and expressed concern that without similar measures from the European authorities, local companies could lose their competitive advantages.
“The United States is creating all the conditions to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to green energy. Europe should draw inspiration from such programs,” said the top manager.
The American plan involves subsidizing and investing in the development of projects in the field of the use of hydrogen, the production of batteries, as well as the creation and improvement of solar and wind power plants. The plan was adopted primarily as an attempt to reduce dependence on China and create competitive "green industries" in the US.
The European Union was unhappy with the American plan because it put European companies in a vulnerable position. European and American politicians even met several times to negotiate the consequences of the already adopted plan, but Washington refused to make fundamental changes - the United States wants to create the strongest and most autonomous industry. In addition to "green energy", the plan includes the creation of its own semiconductor and chip manufacturing industry - this is done to reduce dependence on supplies from China and Taiwan. The declared cost of the plan was estimated at $370 billion.
The forum participants in Davos did not expect that the creation of similar stimulus measures throughout Europe would become one of the main topics of the event. But the European authorities have already "noticed" the mood prevailing in business circles and promised to provide their response to the American plan. Analysts note that Europe has a much higher starting position in some areas, but local projects suffer from a lack of funding due to the high level of fragmentation of the European market - it is often not easy to quickly find money for a promising project, much more difficult than in the United States.
“In order to keep the European industry attractive, it is necessary to compete with the offers and incentives that are currently available outside the European Union,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during the forum, assuring that programs to support the industry are being prepared.
However, as is often the case in the EU, much rests on the interests of nation states, many of which fear that the most developed economies of the association will benefit from support programs, and small countries will not be able to get a sufficiently positive economic effect. There is also no unity on how the new program will be financed and what benefits should be provided, as European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis said publicly.
The EU does not understand the idea of the United States to create a "green breakthrough" only "among allies", as US Treasury Secretary Jeanette Yellen spoke about. Europe believes that four centers for the creation of "green technologies" - Europe, the USA, China and India - should be formed in the world - this is necessary so that none of the parties can capture any element and manipulate the rest of the market participants.