EU von der Leyen speech: defense union, climate, chip shortage

LONDON — There is a brand new worldwide order, the place competitors is fierce and a few nations "stop at nothing to gain influence," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned Wednesday.

Speaking at her annual "State of the European Union" parliamentary deal with, von der Leyen described the currrent surroundings of international relations as "a new era of hyper-competitiveness."

"An era of regional rivalries and major powers refocusing their attention towards each other," she mentioned, whereas 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 troops from Afghanistan fueled a a lot faster-than-expected takeover of the nation by the Taliban. The complete course of and subsequent evacuation efforts have raised considerations within the EU about its dependence on the United States when it comes to defense and safety.

As such, some EU leaders have resurfaced the idea of a strategic autonomy — the concept that the bloc must develop its personal defense capabilities — 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 mentioned 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 mentioned.

The subject is more likely to be in focus within the first half of 2022, when France, a eager supporter of the thought, is answerable for main the discussions on the EU-level.

The EU's economics chief, Paolo Gentiloni, advised CNBC earlier this month that the bloc ought to step up its position on the geopolitical stage because the U.S. and different Western allies take a step again.

Gentiloni: Time for the EU to realize geopolitical powerSquawk Box Europe

China's Climate Plan

During her hour-long speech, von der Leyen additionally requested China to be extra concrete about its carbon neutrality plans.

The nation has pledged to be carbon impartial by 2060, however for von der Leyen this isn’t sufficient.

"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 advised lawmakers.

She mentioned that each one main economies, together with the U.S. and Japan, ought to current detailed plans towards carbon neutrality by the upcoming COP26 convention in Glasgow in November.

The European Green Deal: Europe's last-ditch local weather planDigital Original

The EU has been main this house, presenting in July a concrete set of measures to chop greenhouse fuel emissions by at the very least 55% by 2030.

This subject is turning into more and more extra necessary as Europeans face larger vitality payments amid a pure fuel shortage and structural points. This is elevating considerations throughout the bloc as member states sit up for colder temperatures within the coming months, which may lead to even larger prices when the economic system remains to be simply resurfacing from the coronavirus pandemic.

The governments of Spain and Greece have already introduced measures to offset a few of the latest spike in vitality costs. While Spain launched non permanent tax cuts, Greece mentioned it might spend 150 million euros ($177 million) to chop vitality payments for shoppers over the following three months.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's prime minister, claimed final week that vitality costs have been going up because of the EU's local weather insurance policies, Politico reported.

Frans Timmermans, who leads the local weather coverage portfolio on the European Commission, mentioned 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 advised 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 mentioned, arguing that the fee's local weather plan would keep away from such vitality worth will increase.

Increasing chip manufacturing

Among essentially the most stunning bulletins on Wednesday was von der Leyen's intention to have a "European Chips Act" — a plan to spice up manufacturing of semiconductors, however to additionally enhance analysis, design and testing capacities.

Demand for chips has outgrown provide up to now months, which has impacted the manufacturing of many merchandise, together with vehicles, TVs and plenty of different electrical home equipment. This is a priority for the EU provided that it’s at present closely depending on worldwide provide 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 mentioned.

Goldman Sachs: European progress ought to proceed regardless of China, U.S. slowdownStreet Signs Europe

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