Brussels, my love? The future of the Green Deal after the elections

Brussels, my love? The future of the Green Deal after the elections

The last few years have been the hottest on record, and Europe is facing more extreme weather events like floods and wildfires. The EU Green Deal, a strategy to make Europe climate-neutral, is now facing serious headwinds just before the elections. Is the survival of the Green Deal as a political concept guaranteed?

This topic was the main focus of this week's edition of Brussels, my love?, our weekly talk show from the heart of Europe. Host Stefan Grobe welcomed Joško Klisović, President of the Assembly of the city of Zagreb and Member of the European Committee of Regions, André Sobczak, Secretary General of Eurocities and Chloé Donovan, Managing Director of Natural Building Systems and Material Research Limited.

In 2020, the EU adopted the European Green Deal - a set of policy initiatives to make the bloc climate neutral by 2050.

The plan is to review each existing law on its climate merits and to introduce new legislation on the circular economy, building renovation, biodiversity, farming and innovation.

The last point is important, as it encourages the entire economy to become more climate-minded and more competitive on a global scale, creating new jobs in new industries that haven’t even fully developed yet.

Just five years ago, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen was euphoric and said: “This is Europe's ‘man on the moon' moment.” Yet given recent doubts in the political orbit, that landing seems now in question.

The participants also discussed whether electric vehicles in Europe are on the right track.

As European carmakers are struggling with a slowdown in sales of electric vehicles, Chinese models are waiting in the wings to flood the market. Already, one out of four electric cars in Europe are made in China.

What to do about it? Pass 100% tariffs like Joe Biden? Was the ban of new petrol and diesel cars as of 2035 premature?

Brussels has threatened to launch an investigation into illegal public subsidies for the Chinese car industry - an announcement is expected soon. This is not without risks.

The more the EU is moving towards tariffs on Chinese EVs, the louder and more detailed Beijing is getting in its retaliation threats (targeting Porsche and SUVs). Are we at the brink of a full-fledged trade war?

Meanwhile, European consumers seem unsure whether an electric car is really the future.

The final topic of the conversation was more organic food in public food procurement. According to a new study, this would bring considerable environmental and economic benefits.

To this end, legal criteria should be set for an increased local share of organic food in company canteens or schools, for example. This against a backdrop of stagnating sales figures - the organic market has apparently reached a certain saturation point.