- Retail resists broad sustainability requirements
- EU Health Data Space: Megaproject gets underway
- Chip industry: German government to give billions
- How EU states may help large energy consumers
- Antitrust proceedings against Google’s advertising business
- Task force to enforce sanctions
- Sanctions monitoring
- Profile: Joachim Lang, BDI
It seems like the negotiations between Moscow and Kiev are picking up the pace: Yesterday, Russian negotiator Leonid Sluzki said that both sides could agree on a common position “as early as in the next few days”. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mychajlo Podoljak also expects “concrete results in a few days”. However, whether such an agreement could mean more than a respite in the war is unclear.
At the same time, Russia is fueling fears of an escalation: Russian missiles struck a Ukrainian military base near Lviv, less than 25 kilometers from the Polish border. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the attack was aimed at “foreign mercenaries” and weapons supplied from abroad. Moscow had already threatened to consider Western arms supplies to Ukraine as a legitimate target for attack, stoking fears of a direct confrontation with NATO. A Pentagon spokesman yesterday reiterated, “An armed attack against one is assessed as an armed attack against all.”
Given the threat posed by Russia, Chancellor Scholz announced a special budget of €100 billion for the Bundeswehr. But this does not seem to have emptied the coffers: As we have learned from government circles, German Economics Minister Robert Habeck has announced a double-digit billion euro requirement in the current budget negotiations to promote the domestic chip industry. And he will probably get the funds – at any rate, Scholz is said to support Habeck’s request.
You can read more about it below in the News. There you can also find out what specific conditions the EU Commission is imposing on state aid for companies battered by the Russia sanctions and high energy prices.
At their recent summit in Versailles, the EU heads of state and government declared the importance of a secure supply of raw materials. A functioning circular economy thus becomes a guarantee of independence. However, the retail sector is not happy with the EU Commission’s plans for the new Ecodesign Directive, as Manuel Berkel reports.
I wish you a good start to the week.
Retail resists broad sustainability requirements
The importance of a secure supply of raw materials is becoming increasingly clear these days. In the statement of the informal Council of Versailles, the circular economy is mentioned as an instrument for greater independence from Russian energy imports. The new Ecodesign Directive now takes on all the more significance.
A recently published draft provides for 14 new requirements for manufacturers, such as resource efficiency, proportions of recycled materials, and upcycling capability. The Commission also wants to significantly broaden the directive’s focus, from energy-related products to almost all goods traded in the EU. This broad approach has met with criticism from retailers.
“The Ecodesign Directive is a good instrument for addressing so-called sustainability criteria such as reparability, durability, or the energy consumption of products on a product-specific basis,” says a spokeswoman for the German Retail Federation (HDE). The addition of “product-specific” is important here. So far, the EU has regulated which rules apply to which product groups in dozens of implementing regulations. The best-known example is the rules for household lighting, which led to the ban on incandescent light bulbs. The eco-design amendment could clear up the confusion and, in the future, lay down more horizontal sustainability rules that apply to all product groups.