The European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) supports the EU Commission’s proposal for a Critical Raw Materials and Net-Zero Industry Act, but calls for additional principles to ensure a competitive transition to a net-zero industry.
These principles include matching international competition in policy measures, creating a holistic long-term industrial strategy, providing access to a skilled workforce, and implementing a technology-open and market-oriented approach. CLEPA emphasizes the importance of addressing the Inflation Reduction Act and high energy costs, as they impact investment decisions. The organization also calls for the Net-Zero Industry Act to anchor the EU’s long-term industrial strategy, providing certainty for investors.
“The EU needs a holistic industrial strategy and the proposals are a first step,” said CLEPA Secretary General Benjamin Krieger. “However, focusing on production targets for specific technologies overlooks the crucial role of critical value chains and smart manufacturing towards the long-term success of Europe. Industrial strategic objectives risk being undermined by incoherent regulations, bureaucratic requirements and a focus on technologies instead of objectives.”
The green transition will require increased focus on access to raw materials, circularity and resilient sourcing from as many trade partners as possible. The CRMA can support automotive suppliers in diversifying sourcing, strengthening the EU’s material supply chain and fostering circularity. Nevertheless, supply chain related reporting requirements and targets for use of recovered materials should be reasonable to avoid undermining business cases. The Act could contribute to our industry’s resilience, but will not secure the EU’s competitiveness.
The NZIA should anchor the EU’s long-term industrial strategy and provide investors with certainty that the EU is committed to stay an attractive place to invest. An EU funded program would be the best instrument to implement a strategy that will enable an unprecedented industrial transformation, both in terms of scale and pace.
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