Net-Zero Industry Act in response to US subsidies
The EU Commission wants to make it easier for member states to pay subsidies to companies that invest in green technologies. Brussels' new plan, called the Net-Zero Industry Act, is a response to US President Joe Biden's massive subsidy package aimed at fighting inflation and promoting clean energy in the economy - the Inflation Reduction Act.
Don't get caught in the protectionism trap
The EU must prevent a subsidies race on two fronts, Jutarnji list points out:
“At the political level, EU-US relations are as good as ever, largely as a result of Russia's attack on Ukraine. But this has not affected solidarity in other sectors. That is why Europe and Washington are now working to reach an agreement, because a subsidies race could destroy the global balance and lead to renewed protectionism. At the same time, the big question for the EU remains how to prevent the gap between individual member states from widening.”
Get a good overall package together
The money could be better spent, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung:
“It's far more important to improve the conditions for companies in general. ... Energy costs threaten the survival of numerous industries - and subsidised price brakes won't help in the long run. That's why the EU states need to further accelerate the expansion of green electricity, drastically and as quickly as possible. In addition, governments need to act to reduce the shortage of skilled workers. To this end they must invest in childcare and universities and end the bad habit of early retirement. ... So there are many ways to make the EU more attractive. And in the end, it's the overall package, not just the amount of subsidies, that decides where a factory is built.”