Swedish Enterprise about the Green Deal

NEWS Published

EU – There are several elements contained in the initiative that will be important for Swedish industry, says Lina Håkansdotter, Head of Sustainability and Infrastructure.

Lina Håkansdotter

Lina Håkansdotter, Head of Sustainability and Infrastructure.

The new EU Commission has recently launched an initiative that aims to make the EU the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To achieve this, the Commission has unveiled a package of measures which it calls the European ‘Green Deal’. This package is designed to facilitate the transition to a sustainable green economy for the benefit of both Europe’s citizens and businesses.

However, what does Swedish Enterprise have to say about the Green Deal? We asked Lina Håkansdotter, Head of Sustainability and Infrastructure, a few questions.

Why is this initiative important?
– EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has stated that climate change is one of the EU's top priorities for the future. The Green Deal is a way of demonstrating its commitment. The Green Deal brings together a number of initiatives, which will be developed over the coming years, in the areas of environment, energy and climate. The most frequently discussed issues cover the EU's long-term climate neutrality target for 2050, a climate law, the ambition to raise the climate neutrality target by 2030 and a plan for a circular economy.

What does the Green Deal mean for Sweden and the Swedish business community?
– There are several elements contained in the initiative that will be important for Swedish industry. Setting a long-term goal of climate neutrality provides a clear basis when companies are making strategic decisions. It is important that the industrial strategy is linked to the climate target - competitive companies are a prerequisite for reducing the EU’s climate emissions.

– There will also be an action plan for a circular economy, something we at the Swedish Confederation welcome, particularly given EU-based initiatives in this area. We currently conduct a great deal of trade within the internal market; common guidelines and requirements are a prerequisite for closing the existing linear economic flows.

What does the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise think?
– We see it as positive that the EU wants to take a holistic approach to the climate issue. It is not a question of either achieving reduced emissions or growing the economy within the EU, we must both manage. Currently, it remains unclear what the concrete proposals will be, and there remains a risk that the policy will be more symbolic than action oriented.

– Also, competitiveness is crucial – we must avoid inefficient policies. It will cost a considerable amount of money to convert to climate neutrality; how such investments will be financed is far from clear. There are also proposals for a ”Just Transition Fund”, which will provide for redistribution of money to help those countries that still have a long way to go in terms of achieving emission reductions. Clearly, we must show solidarity within the EU, but this will be a balancing act. Confidence must be maintained in those countries that have done their homework and started on this journey, already having reduced their emissions; it must not reward those who have chosen to ”lie on the sofa and do nothing”.

– In terms of the circular economy action plan, we are positive about many of the proposals set out to date in both the Green Deal and the roadmap. However, the action plan must be synchronised with other policies and regulations; how this will be done in a positive fashion remains unclear.

Would you and the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise want to adjust or change the Green Deal in any way? If so, how?
– It is still too early to comment on what aspects may need to be changed or adjusted. The European Commission’s Green Deal came just before Christmas. It shows a level of ambition in the field, but as yet there are no concrete proposals for a Directive or similar initiatives. The spring should see proposals for climate legislation; we insist that this establishes a clear link between competitiveness and climate goals. The industrial strategy will come in March; here it will be important to identify the role of companies and industry in reducing climate emissions, both within and outside the EU. When the circular economy action plan is presented together with the industrial strategy in March, then we will analyse the measures outlined.

News

NEWS Published:

A Competitive European Industry

EU The European Commission will present its industrial strategy on 10 March. In response to this, Swedish Enterprise has produced the position paper, "A Competitive European Industry". This summarises the organisation's views on a range of issues.
NEWS Published:

11 exciting climate projects from Sweden

Swedish companies have long been at the forefront of combining sustainability and environmental ambitions with growth and innovation. From fossil-free steel to CO2 capture, Sweden’s businesses are leveraging tomorrow's technology for a greener world. As innovation and climate-smart solutions become an increasingly important element in our competitiveness, we have listed 11 ground-breaking climate projects currently underway in Sweden’s business world.
NEWS Published:

"There are no long term winners in a protectionist world"

EU Anna Stellinger, Deputy Director General International and EU Affairs, believes that the new European Commission must demonstrate that it can manage several issues simultaneously. “It must keep the Union and the single market together, stand up for free movement and maintain its focus on core areas.”
NEWS Published:

Swedish Enterprise about the Green Deal

EU – There are several elements contained in the initiative that will be important for Swedish industry, says Lina Håkansdotter, Head of Sustainability and Infrastructure.
NEWS Published:

Worries over Brussels minimum wage initiative

EU The Swedish Labour Market Council for EU Affairs has sent a letter to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. The letter contains several sharp messages to the Commission, where one is that EU lacks competence in the area of pay. 
NEWS Published:

Stellinger on Trade Policy Day: "Protectionism means everyone loses"

INTERNATIONEL TRADE What is the way forward for EU trade policy during these turbulent times? This was the central issue during the European Parliament’s discussions on trade policy. "We live in an entirely new trade world" said Anna Stellinger, Deputy Director General, international and EU affairs.
NEWS Published:

The GDPR alone is insufficient

GDPR The GDPR compromise from 2016 has been shown to have both strengths and weaknesses - particularly from a business perspective. It is vitally important to delivering proper data protection and trust, but it is demanding and costly to adhere to vague and overly-detailed legislation. This creates compelling reasons to discuss how to support compliance and important processing in order to remain technological competitive, says lawyer Carolina Brånby at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. The report, entitled “What’s wrong with GDPR?”, is now available in English.
NEWS Published:

Questions vital for the future of the industry

SEMINAR The Swedish Construction Federation and MEP Abir Al-Sahlani (RE) have organised a seminar "Building Europe - Future of work the construction” in the European Parliament.
NEWS Published:

Anna Stellinger: Director of International and EU Affairs at Confederation of Swedish Enterprise

NEW LINE OF WORK Anna Stellinger today takes up the newly created position of Director of International and EU Affairs at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. She will also join the management team.
NEWS Published:

Review the Swedish Exemption Regarding Financial Transactions

TAX The VAT exemption regarding financial transactions is often used in Sweden as an argument to raise taxes in the financial sector. However, the exemption is harming the business climate as well as growth and development.
NEWS Published:

EU lose much of its attraction without the single market

EU A fully developed single market is central to fight climate change, promote sustainable development, to fully harness the potential of digitalisation and strengthen Europe’s competitiveness. Without the single market, the EU would lose much of its attraction.
NEWS Published:

Proposals for competitiveness

REPORT The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, in co-operation with its experts and membership organizations, has produced concrete proposals for measures to ensure that Europe will maintain its competitiveness in the global arena.
NEWS Published:

How EU-decisions affect Swedish companies

REPORT The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise has evaluated how the major decisions taken within the EU during the last mandate period affect Swedish companies. Our evaluation shows that 24 of the 57 legal acts we have chosen to look at have been positive for Swedish companies.
NEWS Published:

SME-companies in the digital economy

EU 24 million small and mid-sized businesses are the greatest asset within EU. "Regulations must be dealt with to give SME-companies the opportunity to reach their full potential", says  Anna-Lena Bohm, chairman of BusinessEuropes SME:s and Entrepreneurship committee.
NEWS Published:

SME-companies in the digital economy

BUSINESS There are 24 million small and mid-sized businesses, so called SME businesses, in Europe. These companies are a great – if not the greatest – asset when it comes to tackling todays economical and social challenges.
NEWS Published:

The Nordic countries need to block EU assault on tax veto

TAX For countries with a common currency and a limited common budget, it is particularly important to be able to pursue an active national fiscal policy when an external shock is encountered, writes Claes Hammarstedt.
NEWS Published:

Artificial intelligence on everybody’s mind

EVENT Artificial intelligence is on everybody’s mind in the EU capital. The European Commission recently launched its strategy for artificial intelligence, which focuses on promoting research and development of AI across European sectors.
NEWS Published:

AI made in EU

JOINT EFFORT The EU-commission has presented a joint effort with Member States to promote the development and use of artificial intelligence, AI, in Europe. To strengthen AI-technology and uptake in Europe is welcome. Swedish Enterprise believes that the conditions within Europe must be strengthened in order to successfully improve the global competitiveness of our companies. Here are our thoughts and proposals.
NEWS Published:

Swedish expert represents European industry in expert group on AI

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s digital expert Carolina Brånby is representing BusinessEurope in the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, AI HLEG. Their role is drafting ethical guidelines, and to create recommendations on how to strengthen the uptake of AI within the EU.
NEWS Published:

What impact of the Social Pillar on EU prosperity?

The EU’s approach to social policy is currently changing. In November 2017, the European Pillar of Social Rights (the Social Pillar) was proclaimed as a visionary document setting up goals for an upward convergence in this area. In this year’s State of Union address, the president of the EU-commission Jean-Claude Juncker asserted that “It is time we turned the good intentions that we proclaimed at the Gothenburg Social Summit into law”. And, as a matter of fact, this process is well under way.